“With Lure, Nils Michals extends to us a world of radiant detail—sometimes the world feels painfully beautiful—and eerie inner song. Moving between quietly charged description and sweeps of anguish and abrupt joy, Michals is always aware of how his attention treads on the landscapes and people it follows.” —Joanna Klink
What comes off the sea recalls nothing
of loving a world and for those with eyes
wishing something other than what is seen
it says: listen.
Comes off the sea and does not care, says accept
there may or may not be a hand
in this: a taste of spray,
salt, some origin no longer
encompassing us with calm, says
you are on your own now.
And the shy grown citizens. City of harbors.
What comes off the sea has tinned the sea
wide and for miles like wheat blown one direction.
Off the sea, the distance it has glassed
faltering, comes near to ask
Who are you, and after you answer,
just sea, air,
nowhere in the giftbearing world a voice
having said salt, water—
and in not saying, not a thing we may call quiet,
no voice having sung.
“Westerly” published in Lure: Poems by Nils Michals. Copyright © 2004 by Nils Michals. All rights reserved.
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