Breakfast at Lobsta Land
On the sunlit side away from the marsh another scene
harsh in comparison as an endless stream of cars
impinge the ear and sight at the entrance to the bridge
gateway to Gloucester narrow to impede the hoard stream
but it doesn’t quite work the way it used to do
when everyone worked in the town, or went fishing.
The marsh view seems fixed, season and tidal modulation
from year to year comforting knowable and unchanging.
Not so on the highway, a little denser and faster every year.
fishing slowly dying, tourists coming, commuters, in and out.
On one side the beauty, on the other the sign of change
destruction of the unique you don’t see; it’s incremental,
one old building down, one condo built
iconic reminders of the old slower ways replaced.
The once upon a time of amiable ways, backyard conversations
the regularity of a walking postman who might be a great poet,
when we all knew each other, the artist could be your plumber.
Few now accompany St Peter on festival days.
Our memories short get used to the erosive growth
hardly notice what it does as the town, marsh and shore
irretrievably change, we don’t see the loss.
Kent Bowker 10/6/2015
Nightcap poem # 96
Kent Bowker started with poetry at Berkeley in the Fifties, then became a physicist working mainly in optics. His new book of poems is Katharsis: Sifting Through a Mormon Past. He lives in Essex, next to the Great Marshes and is treasurer of the Charles Olson Society.