The Elsewhere Man

/ /

A rush is heard,
a tide, and the wheeling
beads of me, bird,
perceive a feeling:

a taupe seascape
frothing the granite
tip of a cape.
A black-tipped gannet

strikes for the surf
like a dagger. Rock
less rock than scurf
sticks out a dock

where a life, an engrossed
Nova Scotian,
leans on a post
and dotes on the ocean.

Does his New World gaze
get lost in the deep
leagues, their haze
of sameness, or sweep

eastward till breakers
at last find capes
again and acres
of vintners’ grapes

announce Bordeaux?
Ash-eyed, raw-skinned,
with a peak of snow,
he is facing the wind

off the Atlantic
always when I,
a trifling, antic
gull, wheel by.

For as long as I can
remember seeing—
this talisman,
this needful being.