Public Image

Deep in the muddled reaches of
Nearly landlocked inlet tide
Rises in dark a desolate verdant mountain,
Mangrove-ringed, a peak of motionless pine;
Buoyed on the salt-sweet oyster-studded mud, its speech
Whip-poor-wills peacefully through the night,
Whispers the substance is not in sight.
Bathed in the carbon light that leers from the human beach,
Effigy island inverted, admired in wine:
Eyes give symmetry to the greenery fountain
Seeming to flow from just inside
Itself — the whip-poor-will tells with love


Trinity Review – 1967

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