Lawrence Bridges​​

A Long Quiet Wave Slides up the Steep Sand

Like a song in a dream, it must end – these quickened
thoughts, these meditations. A blistering day with scented
air faces us as we are twisted from sleep and left to wander
out into it. If each moment were a phrase toward that same
perfection, it might save us from proclaimed mad
attachments, submission to labor, the doubtful eye. And it
can’t. Our ready, defensive lives take down the padded
bats and arrange the moveable shrubbery and mouth the
rules of a game for pyrrhic victors. We say we are situated
nicely, a beautiful place to live, beauty surrounding us of
nature or art so close that it touches us wherever we turn.
So comforting is it that beautiful reality seems to strike a
balance with something it hides – after seasons of despair
we return to it and see innocence as a trick, a lovely
shroud that we still love. It’s not solid but filmy and thin,
something we wear up to the neck, move beneath, chafe,
and wither. Instead of not caring, walking up from a swim,
salt going dry on my skin, my eye watches absence in
absolutes and nothing is seen and nothing moves.

About the Author

Lawrence Bridges is best known for his work in the film and literary worlds. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums, Flip Days, and Brownwood. As a filmmaker, he created a series of literary documentaries for the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read initiative, which include profiles of Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, Tobias Wolff, and Cynthia Ozick. His photographs have appeared in the Las Laguna Art Gallery 2020, Humana Obscura, Wanderlust, the London Photo Festival, and have been displayed in the ENSO Art Gallery, Malibu, California. Find him online at and on Instagram @larrybridges.