Two Poems by Lauren Camp

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


All that is solid melts into air…
                                            — Karl Marx

Your eye is always interested
in the altering storms. Let it watch flutters
of low tide and later, when water rises,
waves reinforced row over row. Wound
in green scarf you watch the scrapings
of water through the lens.
When you’re tired of witnessing,
let ghosts walk you back
and when you look out tall windows
at what’s not discernible,
make the camera lie fallow from its
clicking. The sun has gone
wherever it shouldn’t.
Alone there’s no other body to claim you.
Make your hand
redraw any interior
splendor. In the morning,
the camera returns
to find order, to watch lines of water
pursue middle distance.
It attempts the end
of such sorrow.
The ocean is loose
in its episodic gesture.
Every time, the water walks.



The Same, Inexhaustible

Now that I’ve lived at the tilt,
            I know the choir of rises
                        and hovers, its tenor and morals.
The coast keeps its rebuttal.

Sometimes the sound is like crying,
            the bemoaning of buckled waves—these            
                        can wake me. I know
what is hidden. I’ve had my hands in the harvest

of what tumbles at the long rib of shore.
            Each coiled morning
                        a cup and a kettle.
The ocean grows cold to the fish.

It pushes toward limits
            of sand with wide hoops
                        of water. And nights
while I sleep, it flares back its white skin.

Days come again, and the water hefts
            purpose and madness.
                        In this house full of names,
I pour blue pigment into a hole,

and watch how it spreads.
            Just like the water, I note
                        the hued bruise it is making,
each sudden burst of sincerity.




Lauren Camp is a poet and educator. Her third book, One Hundred Hungers, won the Dorset Prize, and will be published by Tupelo Press in spring 2016. She is a 2015-2018 Black Earth Institute Fellow and the producer/host of Audio Saucepan on Santa Fe Public Radio. Catch up with her at

Photo of bay and coastline courtesy Pixabay.

Living Alone is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.