November Surf

Some lucky day each November great waves awake
    and are drawn
Like smoking mountains bright from the west
And come and cover the cliff with white violent cleanness:
    then suddenly
The old granite forgets half a year’s filth:
The orange-peel, egg-shells, papers, pieces of clothing,
    the clots
Of dung in corners of the rock, and used
Sheaths that make light love safe in the evenings: all
    the droppings of the summer
Idlers washed off in a winter ecstasy:
I think this cumbered continent envies its cliff then….
    But all seasons
The earth, in her childlike prophetic sleep,
Keeps dreaming of the bath of a storm that prepares up
    the long coast
Of the future to scour more than her sea-lines:
The cities gone down, the people fewer and the hawks
    more numerous,
The rivers mouth to source pure; when the two-footed
Mammal, being someways one of the nobler animals, regains
The dignity of room, the value of rareness.


Read more poems by Robinson Jeffers

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