Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Monday, November 22, 2004

Ultima Thule (Nov. 2004)

Every voyage has its furthest
shore, its Ultima Thule
beyond which no prow
has ever beached. Upon
that iciest strand my
heart loses its last heat
for your and,
wearied and grieved
beyond its pale,
turns to look
back fondly on the
courses home, embracing
not your salt absence
but the welcome
of those knowns, the simple
grounds on which I
built a home
after you at last were
gone -- today
it’s chair and
blanket, the writing pad,
window opened to
that singular
view on cool garden
and street still too
darkened by night
for more than some
streetlight up there,
a light over a red
door across the street.
Every morning at
this time, my matins
tolled out, I yawn
and yearn to get
back in bed with my
wife and slip away
into the transit that
will take me home.
If only your music
like a tidal weren’t
still ringing in my
ear when I slip back
to sleep for for that
hour before the real
day starts, waking me
with lines too dark
and dripping with the deep
to flow sensibly
from my pen. If only
the sand of that
ultimate shore were not
still grained between
my toes, perhaps
forever, driving my
thoughts yet again
from here to your
blue there, making
this pen ache to
blade again that
salt infernity. Fool.
No matter what I find
out beyond the marge
of this known bourne,
I always find myself
alone & looking back
to this safe harbor.
Each time I’ve
docked and tethered,
I look back out
and wonder
if the next voyage
will take me further
still. This rhythm is
my master, guide and
curved lacunae,
my metier and in
a cupless bacchanal
composed between
those ever distant isles
and my wife first
waking, sleep-soaked smile.


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