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            Mangroves
            By Robert James Berry

            Up sheltered inlets is a languid floating world;
            backwaters far from the coast's thunder

            a shunned landscape beyond the big statements of beach
            and headland, the island sprinkled sea

            that is this north.
            Below root rafts the tide traps silt,

            reclaims land, makes more
            brown views

            adding to the estuarine smell,
            impeding the sea.

            Breathing roots push up sticky thumbs
            that also have a fruity decomposing smell

            like bee pollen that will be
            infinitely oppressive all summer.

            In the river mouth mudcrabs drill holes;
            spire snails and necklace seaweed

            conduct themselves more secretly
            than the ancestral world.

            If a crake booms, it could be
            the old tongue woken;

            a swollen knuckle of mangrove wood
            is always about death.

            For this spongy other land inscribes symbols
            of all the old horrors.


            © Copyright 2004, Robert James Berry, All Rights Reserved




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Document last modified on: 01/06/2007

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