Northwest Oregon

Stiff scrub conifers

stipple shoulders of the Siuslaw

down to a brace of poplars

dancing on the cliff face

where we stand.


Silver-thin shears

expressed by the northwest wind

slide like slow sluices

freshening each sprig and lichen

till they disappear imperceptibly.


Singleton swallows

shoot the bluff toward berry

blossoms underneath the golden

eye of a coastal kestrel

sky-riding aerobic ocean updrafts.


Two canaries crisscross

bouncing up the bank on sea

spray drawn by strong pinon

while gulls scamper

cataclysmic outcrops for debris.


Suddenly the sun

spills from the Cascades' spine.

A rind of white a mile long

shines just beyond another

perfect Pacific curl


till it presses the loch's lips

lavishly writing again and again

the promises have been heard,

are marked in more than sand,

will echo eons.


Jerome L. McElroy