Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Nereid Of The Well (2004)

This well has a hymen
the day will break
and scatter with its
penetrate light and heat:
And all the secrets
of this well will thus
become known, the
properties of its waters
to physic art or
history. The vowel-like
sound of its cold plash
will find a saint to
garb our devotions in,
an oak or stone to
altar our prayers.
God’s will is divined
by what eventually
happened here
this hot summer day:
but at this moment
before first light
none of that can
yet be known, the
quiet hour like
a nereid’s dream of
still waters and sleeping
fire, the moonlight
icy on the liquid panes
of mind, faint, crystalline,
every fragrant mystery
within and below
all enclosed in the
fullness of God’s maternal
round which wombs
that high sound which now
starts to twinkle out, star
by fading star, replaced
by a low breath reaching
from a distant brightening
coast, pale blue and
swelling pink, tumescent:
And from that waking
heated sound
cry back from spreading
waters this ache, this
need, which makes a
belling cry to birth and
nurse and woo and fury
a wild summer’s day,
to be the white mare
this next day’s king
must ride from dawn
to dusk, partner and principal,
the milk of summer
swelter. She mirrors
the dazzling sky with
a silver bed of
chromatic fire, and drums
within for later storms,
eyes gleaming with the
bolt and thunder
and crash, mouth
receiving wide the dissolving
rains which slowly
fill and quell her well.
When last light
kisses the old gal good
night, she falls into the
futurity of dream, fashioning
the maid from that
lunar silk and leaving
her to hang on the branches
of the trees far down
there to vigil unto dawn,
singing that ancient
lay of springtime love
in the naked glade.
But wait -- to east
a flutter of that flute
which pipes the paling
blue -- in the well’s
black glass I see a
pale face peering back --
mother, sister, lover,
muse and fury
disclosed in one
sweet face rising
there, slowly,
oh so slowly,
by every silken degree
of this next waking day --
she arrives at the
calmed cool surface
opening her
noctilucent oh too
blue eyes: The coming
day pursed for
that moment I say Yes
and we for one instant
pause, and close, then kiss.


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