Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Woman By the Sea (1)


Sea-maid with your
red-feathered cap,
standing off the
wildest western shores
I know (or can’t):
Sing to me of the
daze and doze
of that collapsing wave
which beds your
quiet smile to mine:
What draws you to
this beach only my pen
can reach is what
tides me, too -- a glimpse
of worlds cauled in
the outermost curls
of a sea-coiffured dream:
You move the margins
of this day out and
back and in,
grazing the strangest
bed of fair and foul
in wild sweet torpor:
To hold you there
in view, standing
distant in the surf,
your red cap burning at
first (or last) light
almost as bright as
your grayblue eyes,
your aching blue
nipples: What now?
Who crosses over those
drear white sands
to assume the other
life above and below
the smashing flow,
gamboled out or
wandered in, married
to an element our
lungs will never hold:
Are we frozen in this
stance some wave
has crashed us into,
then fled?: Look: I’m
wearing your red cap:
You’re wrapped in
my blue song:
The shore is ours
to walk: The roar
of wind and wave
is our bed and cenotaph,
a conch-sigh of
collapsing lovers
droning in the barrow
of this well, sea-songs
which ring bell-buoys
late at night where
we might have met
had I not tried
to write on such
gossamer wave tips:
had you not held
a webbed finger
to your lips:
Had we not stayed
forever at that shore
which keeps us
forever worlds apart.


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