The first wave of a new tide hardly announces itself; but brothers and sisters confirm that a mighty wave is coming, and far from shore, bulging in mountain ranges of ponderous water, the full universe of the tide leans toward land.

Or winter beginning to move comes that way, the sun withholding its full afternoon blessing, a night when frost creeps out; bones of the glacier shift and get ready for the powerful surge when what waits in the sky or mountain descends.

Even inside a cliff, inside that blind forehead that fronts the ocean, a tide, or winter, pulses in the gray body of an earth too slow to respond but thrilled into being and held in its crystal self, a jewel of dull intensity inside the stone.

-William Stafford

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