..This sculpture was placed facing out to sea at Clark’s Point, on the southern tip of West Beach in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Inside each box, I placed a letterpress print featuring lines of a poem. When read as a whole, the lines of poetry create a cento, or a collaged poem. The cento originated in the 3rd or 4th century C.E. derived from Greek language meaning to plant slips (of trees).
SEA WALL CENTO
MAN DOG by Jim Harrison We humans can take off but are no good at landing.
POEM BEGINNING WITH A LINE FROM THE PEN OF JOHN JOSEPH WIENERS by John Landry I have spent my life trying to stay out of my own way I was caught by a tremor of strings mingled with traffic
TIMESWEEP by Carl Sandburg I was born in the morning of the world, So I know how morning looks morning in the valley wanting, morning on a mountain wanting.
LESSONS by Jacqueline Woodson Wanted to be with our friends running wild through Greenville. There was a man with a peach tree down the road.
FIREFLY by Jacqueline Woodson It's almost May and yesterday I caught a firefly in my hand.
JIMSON WEED by Lavonne J. Adams These blooms sweeten the cooling air, rise like trumpets in a silent fanfare to the dark.
SELF PORTRAIT by Cynthia Cruz I wanted not That. I wanted Saint Francis, the love of His animals. The wolf, broken and bleeding-- That was me.
HORSE POET The mustangs travel on Their home is on the ranges And among the trees
HORSE AND RIDER by Ivy Schex There is no trail that they follow No path that can be seen There they travel, horse and rider
NEW ZEALAND by James K. Baxter Something new and old Explores its own pain, hearing The rain’s choir on curtains of grey moss Or fingers of the Tasman pressing On breasts of hardening sand, as actors Find their own solitude in mirrors,
As one who has buried his dead, Able at last to give with an open hand.
MARJORIE AGOSÍN translated by Cola Franzen A woman sleeps on an island and from her hair is born the dwelling place of memories and wild birds.
DREAMS, YELLOW LIONS by Alistair Campbell Now it is water I dream of, placid among trees, or lifting casually on a shore.
FOG by Carl Sandburg The fog comes on little cat feet.
It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.
WELLINGTON by Jennifer Compton There are six kererū in Orangi-Kaupapa Rd feeding on miro: or pūriru, tawa, tairare.
WELLINGTON by Anna Jackson This city is strange to me. The streets that rise and fall remind me I was in love once -- but not with whom.
JET by Tony Hoagland We gaze into the night as if remembering the bright unbroken planet we once came from, to which we will never be permitted to return. We are amazed how hurt we are. We would give anything for what we have.
DANCING TO THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES by John Landry we are a collage of fragments engaged by the rush of generous land generous sea
ZOETROPES by Bill Manhire The land itself is only smoke at anchor, drifting above Antarctica’s white flower, tied by a thin red line (5000 miles) to Valparaiso.
TIME by Allen Curnow I am dust, I am distance, I am lupins along the beach I am the sums the sole-charge teachers teach I am cows called to milking and the magpie's screech.
YOU’RE by Sylvia Plath Vague as fog and looked for like mail. Farther off than Australia. Bent-backed Atlas, our traveled prawn.
TIME by Allen Curnow I am the nor'west air nosing among the pines I am the water-race and the rust on railway lines I am the mileage recorded on the yellow signs.
LOOKING AROUND by Charles Wright This is the moment of our disregard— just after supper, Unseasonable hail in huddles across the porch, The dogs whimpering, thunder and lightning eddying off toward the east, Nothing to answer back to, nothing to dress us down.
PASSAGE III by Maureen N. McLane a flyblown carcass in the underbrush below the cypress in the cemetery : the dead above : the dead below
MONTANA by Brandon Burtis I packed up and went to Montana -- a place that I'd seen once before.
THE ESTUARY by A. R. D. Fairburn The wind has died, no motion now in the summer's sleepy breath. Silver the sea-grass, the shells and the driftwood, fixed in the moon's vast crystal.
THE TOPOGRAPHY OF LOOKING AROUND by Charles Wright Each year it happens this way, each year Something dead comes back and lifts up its arms, puts down its luggage And says—in the same costume, down-at-heels, badly sewn— I bring you good news from the other world.
OVERNIGHT by John Yau in memory of Paul Violi (1944–2011) Did you hear about the two donkeys stuck in an airshaft You might call this the first of many red herrings
DANCING TO THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES by John Landry the only revolution is the revolution of the heart which beats its mantra: change change change and we are not who we were a moment ago
LOOKING AROUND by Charles Wright It's only in darkness you can see the light, only From emptiness that things start to fill, I read once in a dream, I read in a book under the pink Redundancies of the spring peach trees.
MERCY, MERCY, ME. by John Murillo Maybe memory is all the home you get.
UNDER THE DOME by Elise Paschen Lepidoptera. From the Greek: Scale-wing. Chrysalis. Stay, butterfly, under the dome.