Written Motion

28 June 2021

By Philip Kuepper

The waves rose in slow shrugs,
like the shoulders of powerfully built men
lifting loads. They shrugged, thusly,
over and over, like doing reps in a gym.
This was a sea building
before a storm, churning far off shore,
a sea on the back of which boats
rowed themselves,
as much as they were rowed.

They were waves that shrugged
into swells, and went flat
when they lay against the shore.
Wind was building, wind one wore
a jacket against, the material of which
slapped smartly when the wind buffeted it.
It was a measured buffeting,
the kind of measure that underlies music,
the thought of which I used
to liken myself to a note
being written on the graph of the shore.

By then the sea had laid before me
muscular waves working out,
boats under oars,
and myself, a note of music being written,
all three of which were being played
as though in a symphony of motion,
the wind conducting.

I was both watching,
and being a part of
the performance. I was
the musical note being
written as I went,
the boats rowing,
the waves lifting,
each of us separate yet one.

And, then,
the storm broke.

(14 June 2021)

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