Poems by Duane Locke.


I  pick up coral, stare
Into the dark openings.
Each dark opening has a word to create.
The dark purple threads that fall from the dome of the jelly fish
That have touched coral give me a word.
The golden light from the sea worm
Coming out of a coil to touch the coral gives another word.
The dark rainbow inside the shell of the mussel that clings to coral
Gives another word.
The purple cloud inside the sea hare, forest on side of sea slug,
Transparency of baby octopus give more words.


I, no longer afraid to be an outcast, speak.
I say let the words leap from everything,
Let the words leap from the sand dollar's fur,
Let the words leap from dark spots made by rain on shore sand.
Even let the words leap from the beautiful dead,
The skeleton of the fish hooked and abandoned.
The green eye of the murdered shark decaying in sunlight.
Let the words leap from the cry of willets,
From the white flashes of their wings.
Let the words leap from the pink spots on cream-colored backs of stone crabs.
From barnacle-covered black driftwood.
From the lonely hermit crab that has lost its shell.
From horseshoe crabs buried in oozing mud.
Let a holy language be born.


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