Tides by Mary Oliver

Every day the sea
     blue gray green lavender
pulls away leaving the harbor's
dark-cobbled undercoat

click and rutted and worm-riddled, the gulls 
walk there among old whalebones, the white
     spines of fish blink from the strandy stew
as the hours tick over; and then

far out the faint, sheer
     line turns, rustling over the slack,
the outer bars, over the green-furred flats, over
the clam beds, slippery logs,

barnacle-studded stones, dragging
the shining sheets forward, deepening,
     pushing, wreathing together
waver and seaweed, their piled curvatures

spilling over themselves, lapping
     blue gray green lavender, never
resting, not ever but fashioning shore,
continent, everything.

And here you may find me
on almost any morning
walking along the shore so
     light-footed so casual.

Mary Oliver (1935 - 2019) in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Source: Cleveland Arts Prize

Mary Oliver (1935 - 2019) in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Source: Cleveland Arts Prize