Big Glimmer

by George Bowering

The ocean is always evaporating, he says, as if
he were Friedrich Nietzsche, human kind is no better,
I’ve reached a great age and no longer care what cars
look like, who’s on the radio, only the light reflecting
from your skin, only the freshness of the bread, only
some third thing to make the rhetoric familiar.  The ocean,
he says, offers so little, a thin surface you will break
at your risk, a history made up largely of defeat
or disappointment, as in soccer.  Dogs get wet
and clamber into cars, real fish and chips
have pretty well disappeared save perhaps in
New Zealand.  Yet the only awesome sight
I have seen was the immense curve of the Pacific
at midnight, lit by a moon a little higher than
this Boeing 747 newly entered the southern hemisphere.
My father was not in the window seat, though he
should have been, this wiry man who used to
wade into Lake Okanagan with a big white bar of soap.