Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Friday, December 17, 2004

Abyssal Plainsong (2002)

There is a God (some say),
A deep, but dazzling darkness.
—Henry Vaughan

While we sleep
the night hauls us
through deep billows,
cold and ever-black,
tiding us in surges
we can’t hold onto
or name, just dream.

Lost in the marges
of that boneless toil,
we ferry the dead
in St. Elmo’s Fire,
our pulse lucent
in their basalt veins.

Seals fan the
cold waters of our
oblivions, their
long-lashed eyes
weeping like beloveds
in lost windows
or children carried
off in dark hands.

We wander through
floorless rooms all night
as the centuries
glow from split
whalers and the
spires of lost towns.

No wonder when
the alarm clock
hauls us back
we’re like someone
rescued from a riptide
who must sit awhile
dazed on the shore:

To him our day
is strange, almost painful,
as infinity ebbs
in scowling thunder,
leaving this scrawled
only plunder.


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