Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Wild World (Dec. 21, 2004)

There's a wilderness
in every town -- you
just have to look
with eyes as flung
as sharp harpoons
for flukes and sudden
spume. Between
row houses there's
always a patch
of candescent bad blue,
cobalt then cyanotic,
like fish scales burning
with every spectra
of abyss. Coldest
night of the year
and everything outside
seems nailed fast
in a near-freeze,
the old ice gods regnant
for a night, riding
wild a wolf-like,
Arctic chill. Inside
it's warm enough, our
thermostats cranked
to the heart's red-
wombing wash, quilts
pulled up to the nose.
Yet I got up and
ventured here to oar
that brutal tide which
slams against our
house in waves I
cannot see, much less
name, though each
day I try. I think
of the ghosts of
past residents of this
town, walking in
their hoary shawls of mist
between the houses
which remain, like
fog through a freezing
grove, their voices
soft yet stellar,
singing how these
castles of dailiness
so easily and so utterly
can wash away,
leaving empty beaches
for miles in both
ways. On this
longest night the cold
and dark remain
right at our doors
and windows with
a pale finger pointing
in and eyes like
blueblack wells
of all that pours
from a town to
slake a prior and
eventual thirst. Cold
works through this
like a narwhal,
spearing every
virgin dream. Cold
the music, like
cold cream
spilling from an
udder the angels
of suburbia
remit with one long
wave-crashing scream.


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