Keith Moul
At the Oregon Coast, Thanksgiving

The shore takes its flogging
like a common seaman
at the mast, its crimes
as ancient as the rain,
its stand to justice
natural and vast.
No pressgang shanghaied me
nor chained me to these rocks
until the sea
like cat-o-nines
had lashed my heart out:
no, I like its rhythmic sting
enough to make my mark
for life, be the voyage
fitted out for war
or tracking the leviathan,
differences to a free man
finally of small account.

To One in the Night Outside Our Window

Don’t be disappointed, unnerved,
or feel cheated by our joy:
a curtainless old house, built
with suitable nooks
to show our prizes off,
and walls for picture hooks
on which our lives’ images
and icons float:
the curious, private things
unaltered by your peering.
Are you surprised
that shame and privacy
are not the same?
I sympathize—
for hidden in the bushes, leering
into others’ lives, you wish
for more than love or joy—you crave
our deep derision, guilt,
the self-incited madness
of the childishly obscene,
our full humiliation.
be surprised:
inside our home
the night-black window
mirrors sometimes foolishness,
sometimes distorts our cries.