There is a bay on the Oregon coast, Shaped like a scallop shell And ringed by rounded stones. And from the darkening sky Droop billows of blue and gray Hanging and lit like Chinese lanterns. Humans in the damp Northwest Appear to drip from the clouds In rain-washed colors Of blue and violet, Whose tattered clothes Are softened and soaked From ragged wool into rich satin. Still others bask on shores Of pebbles rolled by the sea, Bone white and cloud-gray. Down and up, down again The light rays vault, Painting bipeds into the land. There are no reflections But rather water in the air, Looking like rain Even on cloudless days. Their world is saturated Like the scarlet gowns Of Waterhouse’s Ariadne And the ponds of Monet, Green as the British Isles, Blue as the Aegean And white as the Pantheon ruins . Much like an ancient tomb, The majesty of mortal lives Commemorated in stone Is here splashed in the air And in every forest or cliff. Hushing people into silence, So they conduct the most Serious customs in whispers, Knowing how voices echo along Water droplets And mountain shadows.