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Happening upon the Exploding Sand Sculpture Competition on TV

Found: the proper distance
Handprints the wind wiped away
Small cone piles where a bird claw raked the tension loose
Like crumbs

From a swath of sand, preimagined
History’s sputter, or granules of myth, rough in places
And detailed

Color of tawn and if it rains, leather
Color of itself core to surface
Color of reuse
A seablue horizon floats its way up

Cyclops, Einstein, Planet of the Apes, Indiana Jones
The lone woman Betsy Ross sews on Gallileo’s stars
Map of narrative
Chunks, clumps, wads, pieces, specks

Eons of drafts of sand / earth of sand / sky of sand
Deeded sand
Air / sand
A smithereen lands at my feet

Stand back when the shoulder rounds
The corner rounds
Too close if what you saw before / you saw
Meant anything

Denise Bergman is the author of Seeing Annie Sullivan, poems based on the early life of Helen Keller’s teacher (2005), which was translated into Braille and made into a Talking Book. Her poems have been widely published. She conceived and edited City River of Voices, an anthology of urban poetry, and she was the author of Keyhole Poems, a sequence that combines the history of twelve specific urban places with the present. An excerpt of her poemRed is permanently installed as public art in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

2008, Volume 60, Issue 07 (December)
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