Charles Komanoff

 

Bixby's Landing

Following is the complete poem which Komanoff excerpted in his Sept. 18, 2005 piece on windpower in the Albany Times-Union.

Bixby's Landing
By Robinson Jeffers

They burned lime on the hill and dropped it down
      here in an iron car
On a long cable; here the ships warped in
And took their loads from the engine, the water
      is deep to the cliff. The car
Hangs half way over in the gape of the gorge,
Stationed like a north star above the peaks of
      the redwoods, iron perch
For the little red hawks when they cease from
      hovering
When they've struck prey; the spider's fling of a
      cable rust-glued to the pulleys.
The laborers are gone, but what a good multitude
Is here in return: the rich-lichened rock, the
      rose-tipped stone-crop, the constant
Ocean's voices, the cloud-lighted space.
The kilns are cold on the hill but here in the
      rust of the broken boiler
Quick lizards lighten, and a rattle-snake flows
Down the cracked masonry, over the crumbled
      fire-brick. In the rotting timbers
And roofless platforms all the free companies
Of windy grasses have root and make seed; wild
      buckwheat blooms in the fat
Weather-slacked lime from the bursted barrels.
Two duckhawks darting in the sky of their cliff-hung
      nest are the voice of the headland.
Wine-hearted solitude, our mother the wilderness,
Men's failures are often as beautiful as men's
      triumphs, but your returnings
Are even more precious than your first presence.