Robert Wooten

Issue No. 19 • Spring 2018


Down, I walked.  The beach unscrolled,
unscrolling for my pleasure,
mocking my life with silly acquiescence.

The acknowledgment that one knows something
is also known as the “ignis fatuus,”
or false fire, through an ecclesiastical saint.
And I have used this to repel temptation,
as when I am tempted to argue I know this,
in my own thinking.  It is a vanity.

I walked along the beach in darkness
until I stood at the shoreline,
looking at what appeared to be moonlight
on the water.  Then, turning to walk along the shore,
it struck me as odd that a full moon
should appear on such a cloudy night.
I returned to the spot, looking up,
without seeing anything but one star,
then looked down, and the moonlight
on the water began to dissipate.  Before
I could resume my walk, it had become
a dark spot with the silhouette
as of some giant sea creature.
And then, having completed my walk,
I resolved to return by a light
which I mistook for that of a lamp.
As soon as I reached the point,
it was no longer there.  Baffled,
I returned in my own footsteps, only to realize
that I had just walked past
the most illumined part of the beach.