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  • Between the Castle and Cannery Row

  • Moving north along the pitted California coastal byway, en route
  • to the westernmost hub of the revolution. Snaking its blustery sheer
  • and terrible beauty, doughty in view of the might
  • in its potential for unspeakable fate. Sedated and wending our way
  • Nepenthean scoffing at the palisades. Serpentine winding
  • through the eerie brume, where the evening’s infinite
  • foamy black sea lathers
  • and licks at the skin of the nebulous moon
  • Faint in the misty distance rising, Kim Novak’s asylum from celebrity
  • Her stone and timber octagon writhing
  • amid a flexing throng of pine trees
  • Native anomalies – exotic, stormy, windswept deformities
  • Uniquely Pacific,
  • Specific to these seaboard propagations of contorted choreography
  • Where stage lights fall upon the iridescent waves – swells that drub the crags
  • of the tidal shelves, with energy enough to summon the blubbers
  • of sea lions in their caves – grottos beneath a garish castle in the clouds
  • Indefatigable, briny cymbals crashing, pounding against the barking
  • feral chambers crowded
  • The gasping pockets of rock awash, resounding
  • in what would track a hundred miles of hairpin curves
  • and in the end display a placid evening’s radiant veil
  • of embers appearing to respire
  • on the lighted bluffs above Monterey Bay
  • Black Feathers

  • The coldest snows will fall
  • on still life spruce where ravens squall
  • and settle in the tops of sappy pine
  • —shokeling within a gargle of quorks,
  • they swoop and rise,
  • on a throttled cacophony of corvid cries.
  • With wings, the feathered brushes
  • black unfurl,
  • as strokes across the early morning’s
  • blue pastels and pink skyline.
  • Streaks of cerulean and mother of pearl
  • … track, methinks, a host of lofty floats,
  • precipitous amid the pre-dawn woolpacks.
  • It’s snowing today, as trees, birch, alder
  • and evergreen stand still for
  • and accept a seasonal primer.
  • A mid-October gust now merely dies
  • under cold bone skies – a final passive thrust,
  • ere the howling of Halloween winds.
  • And into the slush-soon-solid dusk,
  • autumn quivers on a somber sky.
  • The stark-eyed sun, bleakens and blinks,
  • lingers and sinks – heatless, on the horizon.
  • Against a backdrop of white silence,
  • black feathers whisper on the wind –
  • Sun Polishes Moon

  • Autumn’s dying ember sinks, quenches
  • Way out there where it meets the sea.
  • Heavenly bodies patiently await the inevitable
  • Darkness as tides recede and supple boughs
  • Dance on bellows brisk. Then … astral gems
  • Begin to sparkle, start to come alive – exist
  • On the obsidian backs of algae and plankton diners,
  • Crabs, indecisively appearing to dither beneath
  • Curtains of hemlock, and under the golden orb
  • Of night, where our natural satellite waxes
  • In the wake of a murder climbing the cold, clear sky,
  • Traversing the smirk on the face of the moon …
  • Across its illusory eyes. Caws fade with distance
  • As I breathe deep this evening’s ocean air.

Fred Rosenblum

Fred Rosenblum

Fred Rosenblum is a bilingual poet residing in San Diego with his wife of 45 years. He is the author of two books of poetry (Hollow Tin Jingles and Vietnumb) and has appeared in numerous publications throughout the US and Canada since 2009, including Consequence Magazine, Cirque Journal, and The Aurorean.

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