Marvin Bell


The past shadows the cozy Paris of the Forties.
It’s gone. And gone are the Garbo look-alikes
at Madame Quartz’s Tangier martini walkup.
I saw them go, and the villages of Long Island
where wavelets of our calm beauty covered
a brittle tectonic future. So it was, that the famous
storm of 1937 brought us a mouthful of alarm.
The taste of fear, the smell of an ocean folding
trees in its way--these too early premonitions
of climatic changes could not crack our safety
afterward. If moving a boat could skirt the awful
consequences, we could handle that. The tide
ebbed, those who had imprisoned themselves
behind plywood windows reappeared, and we
were normal again, smoking and chatting,
a day of sandbags replaced in the aftermath
by an evening of teabags and talk. I could say
I went to Tangier to speak to the sea, but futility
in the face of overwhelming force is the great
lesson, so go home I said to myself, here is no
end of the road, either. I sat by the wall in Trudy’s
Viennese Piano Bar to stay out of the wind.



Poetrybay seeks fine poetry, reviews, commentary and essays without restriction in form or content, and reserves first electronic copyright to all work published. All rights to published work revert to the author following publication. All Email submissions should be in body of email text.

To submit poems write to:

PO Box 114 
Northport NY 11768
or email us at 

send comments to info@poetrybay.com

first electronic copyright 2004 poetrybay. 
all rights revert to authors

website comments to dpb@islandguide.com