, April 22, 2024

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Beachcomber Nocturne

  •   2 min reads
Beachcomber Nocturne
Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

Intro by Kwame Dawes

In ​“Beach­comber Noc­turne”, Lupi­ta Eyde-Tuck­er beau­ti­ful­ly wres­tles with the com­plex rela­tion­ship that we some­times have with nature, by first acknowl­edg­ing that there is a strange col­o­niz­ing impulse behind the man­ner in which we appre­hend and love the nat­ur­al world, by see­ing it in our own image. Her awe, how­ev­er, is also cap­tured ele­gant­ly in her sense of help­less­ness as a wit­ness and a crea­ture of this grand design. For some rea­son, I find myself com­ing back to the phrase, ​“the ocean’s pur­ple evening”, so I con­sid­er the poem yet anoth­er of those ​“odd gifts” the world offers us.

By Lupita Eyde-Tucker

Pink seafoam leaves odd gifts for me to find:
a puffed-up man-o-war, a mermaid’s purse,

empty lady slippers, Sargasso weed,
as if these things could fill my human needs.

I push my toes beneath the cold, damp sand,
observe the ocean’s purple evening.

A loggerhead rides up and heaves her bulk
to dig a hole, deposit future in the dark.

Until she’s done and slips back out to sea
I sit and match her labored breath to mine.

This sea: a Chevy engine revving high
reminding me how everything’s design.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2022 by Lupita Eyde-Tucker, “Beachcomber Nocturne” from Jet Fuel Review, Issue #23, Spring 2022. Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2022 by The Poetry Foundation.

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