Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Nineteenth Contest :: Second Place Winner


Northern California Where You Still Live

by Liza Porter
For E.D. Lavis 1953-2005

Alone in the dark on the wooden deck
facing west, it’s silent except for a few cars
flying by on a road in the distance.

The Jeffers' book to my left holds your
favorite poems of the Pacific, granite
rock, salt, the day moon. Yesterday

we drove to the coast, spoke of old
times, dark and light, cried
when tears were due. You are not gone

but still live in the sea that speaks
its blue morning tides, its secret sorrows, its
whispers of fine mist and light.

We cannot touch you in the way we’ve
always taken for granted, but our fingers will
spread and reach to the hills between here

and there where you still sing in your
true voice, your a cappella song
needs no accompaniment. You are

ocean now. The waves of yesterday
rock my feet as we walk and gaze
at shimmering water and see

Point Reyes off in the distance,
that dark peninsula showing itself
only a few times in winter and only

under clear skies. Soon your ashes will fly
above a warmer ocean, and we
will hear your voice in the tide that

flows out and in from the shore
and back out to sea, over and
over and over, forever.

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Blue Mountain Arts