Bill Yarrow


All theft in proportion to the extant gold. When scenery is property and time is a straight edge; when the clouds are billowed and still; when one sees a tinfoil ocean and perspective to the east; when the static waves begin to move; when an immobile sky rustles and kneels, then art becomes a magnified intransigent lie.

Our eyes are the sights of the guns in our minds.

It’s as if I’m watching a diorama of the world. The palms move. The waves move. Not my eyes: they are brick white, eternal; billowed stiff, immobile. The waves move. The palms move. The world moves.

Bang: the ocean, turquoise to the left of us with great patches of ink and a thin whistle of foam along the shore; the horizon, a receding line from the top of the mountain along the cove to the city, circumscribed by a second range, purple and leading out to sea; an adjacent line of clouds sits in judgment over the beach.

Bang: the sun catches in the driftwood as it dries, a hundred times in the shattering wave; the buff ocean looks green; noon colors of the noon sun; against coarse white caps, the impression of great schools of fish leaping and charging the shore; a straight line below the sky, blank like a green or blue or yellow screen.

Bang: on the screen of the sky plays the drama of the wind, the epic of the waves, the story of pebbles and sand. In whip against skin, wet and baking, the scent of salt, shells and clams, conches, dead crabs, mussels among seaweed, dried sticks, pink stones, sunlit shallows in a fist of land, the whisper and spitting of water on dry sand.

The sea goes to clouds: the horizon, beauty’s razor blade. Look out! The vanishing point—emerald blood, angry bees in a cache of jewels; it reaches a heaven, billowed, still. Dead, it vanishes. The salute of sun and wind, sand and sea: death deeds death to the descendants of the dead; the waterproof eye at the waterlogged edge looking still.



Bill Yarrow

Bill Yarrow, Professor of English at Joliet Junior College and seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is the author of Blasphemer, Pointed Sentences, and four chapbooks. His poems have appeared in many print and online magazines including Pirene’s Fountain, Poetry International, RHINO, FRiGG, Altered Scale, Gargoyle, Iodine Poetry Journal, and PANK. He is the co-author, with the Boston composer Ray Fahrner, of Pointed Music, a CD of poems from Pointed Sentences. Yarrow is also an editor at the online journal Blue Fifth Review.

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