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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The beach at Liberty State Park

July 5, 2013

My heart beats to the beast of the waves on the short, jet skis stirring up the f4rotn near the mouth to the boat basin, sending ripples to this stony shore – the life blood surging in and outside of me, filling me up, then draining me again, so now I feel hollow.
I feel the tension in the water ease only after one of the large ships pass, the tiny faces of its passengers grinning out at the other shore where Manhattan’s skyline grins back.
Those few who cling to this side wait for the icons of the harbor, the place where my ancestors landed in their arrival from the east, or the French statue standing utterly erect, green and stiff with its pale torch uplifted to illuminate this harbor long after these ships have passed.
I stumble among the stones on this short shore, searching for treasures I can never find, the detritus of some past disaster washed up here for strangers to claim. These shores are so historic that I might claim some famous general’s wooden teeth (does he need him with so famous a bridge named after him?) or the bullet what laid waste a founding father on the bluffs just up stream from here.
I find nothing except the empty shells the gulls have picked clean, a treasure for the ancient Indians maybe who polished them into money. But here these are part of the endless waste cast up between bits of brick from some demolished foundation, and the chips of wood from ships sunk in the nearby sea – ships whose masts crisscross the muddy bottom like religious icons.

Walking here, I find company in the loneliness because it is all around me, and inside, stirred up and then calmed by the coming and going of tides over which I have no control.

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