‘Envy, resentment, an auto intoxicant, an evil secretion
in a closed vessel, and prolonged impotence’
Camus, from the Rebel, pg 23.
Essex is this
a marsh, mud at low water
a grand drumlin, Hog Isl
center of a vast gyre
of tidal waters.
Herons, egrets, white dots in the sweep of salt grasses
an ocean beyond white beaches,
gull screams, crows roccus on the flats
and the town at the head of the river,
A great blue heron glides by
Essex is this
Clams, farms, woodlands, granite ledges,
The great fishing schooners built here
floated down river at high tide
past Conomo Point and out
to Ipswich Bay and then to
Gloucester for fitting.
Essex rents coveted land at Conomo
for modest well kept cottages
owned for generations.
Jutting far into the river’s marsh
the Point is the center
where sea thrust empties and fills
the wide wild grass space,
But there is envy in the town
that some owning houses there
on this rented land enjoy
the sky that harbors clouds of birds
majestic storm clouds lightening
heavens rage and sweet calm.
So came Realtors and developers
and those who take away the Common
who feed on anger and thirst for profits
to set fires in the hearts of the town
until they vowed to have no more tenants
have them simply go away
leave all the cottages
many more than a century old
to be wasted, removed.
Now, we face the ruin avarice brings
emptiness, unkempt scrub,
rats will gnaw at the rubbish
beside a desolate parking lot
tourists inside their metal boxes will view
won’t like the mud
there are no beaches worth much
no one can stay overnight
except the furies;
The green heads bite.