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By Chip Livingston

Accept my need and let me call you brother,

Slate blue oyster, wet sand crustacean,

In your hurrying to burrow, wait. Hover.

Parse opening’s disaster to creation’s


Slate, to another blue-eyed monstrous sand crustacean,

Water-bearer. Hear the ocean behind me,

Pursued, asking to be opened, asking Creation

To heed the tides that uncover you nightly.


Water-bearer, wear the water beside me,

Hide your burying shadow from the shorebirds,

But heed the tides that uncover you nightly.

Gems in sandcastles, stick-written words,


Hidden from the shadows of shorebirds,

Washed over by water. Waters revelatory

Gems, sand, castles, sticks, words—

Assured of erasure, voluntary erosion.


Watched over with warrior resolution,

Crab armor, claws, and nautilus heart,

Assured of a savior, reconstruct your evolution,

Clamor to hear, water scarab, what the tampered heart hears.


A scarab’s armor is light enough to fly.

In your hurry to burrow, wait. Hover.

Hear the clamor of the crustacean’s heart.

Heed this call of creation. Call me brother.


Chip Livingston, "Punta del Este Pantoum" from Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas. Copyright © 2011 by Chip Livingston.  Reprinted by permission of Chip Livingston.

Source: Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas (The University of Arizona Press, 2011)

  • Living
  • Nature
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Chip Livingston
Poet and writer Chip Livingston was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and grew up in Pensacola. He earned a BA at the University of Florida, an MA in fiction writing from the University of Colorado, and an MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College. Livingston is on the faculty for the low-residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. In his poems, in both free verse and received form, he explores justice, sexuality, and identity. See More By This Poet

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