Friday, October 14, 2005

Portuguese Bend, On the Pacific Coast

“drive, he sd, for
christ’s sake, look
out where yr going.”
Robert Creeley, “I Know a Man”

I started feeling like a local
when I could drive Portuguese Bend
without gripping the wheel, past
signs warning “Landslides” and
“Extreme Caution" and
“Constant Movement."
Every day road crews block
the lanes, propping up and patching
where nature resolutely takes a dip,
and we locals know to slow to ten
when the sign says “Bump.” The cliffs
are steep beside this belly dancing spot.
Rocks at the bottom are black and jagged
and the plodding ocean doesn’t care.
It’s sort of thrilling, going over
the Portuguese Bend, and if
you make it you can stop
at Wayfarer’s Chapel to thank the Lord
or reflect on your survival
at the neat Narcissa Gate. But I
just like to keep on driving, over
the reassuring, risky shifting
of the earth, its constant change
a lovely stubbornness.

No comments: