Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Heart Pierced by An Arrow (2000)

Heart pierced by arrow:
a signet of assault
by Eros. Love’s rebirth
on a shaft of white fire
when she says
O Yes
and I write O Boy.
All I ever wanted
to know in that
swift pierce
from half to half
of a heart.
My birth tattoo,
my epitaph.
God singing while
he warms his hands
on my pyre.

Cheers to Mama moon

... All women loved dance in a dying light—
The moon’s my mother; how I love the moon!
Out of her place she comes, a dolphin one,
Then settles back to shade and the long night.
A beast cries out as if its flesh were torn,
And that cry takes me back where I was born.
The edges of the summit still appall
When we brood on the dead or the beloved;
Nor can imagination do it all
In this last place of light; he dares to live
Who stops being a bird, yet beats his wings
Against the immense immeasurable emptiness of things.

n Theodore Roethke, “The Dying Man”

A page torn from Your beach

The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Glowed on the marble, where the glass
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,
Unguent, powdered, or liquid-troubled, confused
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air
That freshened from the window, these ascended
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
In which sad light a carvèd dolphin swam.
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
'Jug Jug' to dirty ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Spread out in fiery points
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.

-- T.S. Eliot, "The Wasteland, pt. 2: A Game of Chess

Calming the Mermaid

The story is told by a John Corley to Lady August Gregory and included in her Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland, 1920:

There is no luck if you meet a mermaid and you out at sea, but storms will come, or some ill will happen.

There was a ship on the way to America, and a mermaid was seen following it, and the bad weather began to come. And the captain said, “It must be some man in the ship she’s following, and if we knew which one it was, we’d put him out to her and save ourselves.” So they drew lots, and the lot fell on one man, and then the captain was sorry for him, and said he’d give him a chance till tomorrow. And the next day she was following them still, and they drew lots again, and the lot fell on the same man. But the captain said he’d give him a third chance, but the third day the lot fell on him again. And when they were going to throw him out he said, “Let me alone for a while.” And he went to the end of the ship and he began to sing a song in Irish, and when he sang, the mermaid began to be quiet and rock like as if she was alseep. So he went on singing till they came to America, and just as they got to the land the ship was thrown up into the air, and came down on the water again. There’s a man told me that was surely true.

Birthmark (Today)

All metre and mystery
touch on the Lord at last.
The tide thunders ashore
in praise of the High King.

-- from “A Defense of Poetry,”
Giolla Brighde Mac Con Midhe (13th cent.)
transl. from the Gaelic by
Thomas Kinsella

For some—it is horsemen; for others—it is infantry;
For some others—it is ships which are, on this black earth,
Visibly constant in their beauty. But for me,
It is that which you desire.

—Sappho, Fr. 16, transl. D. W. Myatt

I was born to such
hapless outre & riven
song out in love’s
blue tide: The
gods scarred
or scored me at
birth with the
unlikely mark
of a red heart
with an arrow through
it & affixed high
over my right nipple:
I was a humming
baby who took later
delight in the sight
of pretty girls walking
by our front window:
Sang long & loud
to Big Toe my
toad in her yellow pail
out at Cape Cod where
we once vacationed:
Fell desperately in
love with the girl down
the street who swam
topless for me in a
bright blue wading pool
(we were 3): So when
at 4 years old
I sat on Jacksonville
Beach with my mother
& heard her voice inside
the surf I was already
old in that song, a
veteran sailor of
the rise and crash
of blue seem: The
birthmark faded around
then, it sunk into my
heart to conch a chapel
of that beach of
song and love and
you: Ever since
it bid me sing
for good and ill
these useless raptures
of sigh and swill:
No more of that
history this morning,
there’s work to do:
My wife and I up
now at 4 a.m., I to
work where the pile
is high, my wife on
to Wal-Mart to get
shopping done
so she can get home
& to work on her
fabrics, that
embroidery inside
her which must
come forth: Incessant
this desire to repeat
and name all the
waves which carved
a sound inside my
ear, or woke more
ancient tidals of
womb and gene
and heraldic
minstrelsy, like
an old song’s next harp:
This life is one
wave’s rise and crash
and ebb so wild to
reach you at last as
ever, pregnant
in every wave
you’ve bid Cupid
ride since time first
poured the seas: I’ve
long given up caring
how the world accounts
and dismounts this
blue tongue from your
salt throat: And if I
err, I err now wildly
enough to appease
the errant itch: I’m
not much different
from woman who saw
the likeness of the
Virgin Mary in a
grilled cheese sandwich
she had just taken
a bite out of, preserving
the morsel for ten
years (waiting for
the death of her
parents, she said)
& then selling it
the other day on E-bay
for $28,000 to an
online casino:
Same gal, different
grill: There’s lucre
aplenty to blow
in fustive coin, spume
and spew enough
of burning narhwal seed
to horn every ocean
womb: Enough sweet-
sounding syllables
to wash on every shore
that lies ahead where you
once walked and gazed
imploring emptiness
to send your lover
at last: That’s my gig,
my under-employ, while
the real life goes on
and down and through:
A happy life, I’d add,
composed of joys
which carry a high
and dear price:
This salt blue intone
is like bone-ribbing
for that big-finned life,
a cathedral keel
of wavelike bones with
all the world between us
and every song on loan
from the missal buried
far down there in
the cold dark sea
where you and I
sing in each other,
spinning the great
wheel over and over,
praying we’ll get lucky at last:

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Invocation by the Master

To course on better waters the little
boat of my wit, that leaves behind her
so cruel a sea, now raises her sails,
and I will sing of that second kingdom
in which the human spirit is made clean
and becomes worthy to ascend to heaven.
But here let poetry rise again from the dead,
oh holy Muses, for yours I am,
and here let Calliope rise up for a time
lending my song company with that tone
which rang in the ears of the miserable
magpies so that they despaired of pardon.

Dante Purgatorio, transl. John Ciardi

My dream of you

A clearly Christian genre also fed into the development of the immrama. This is the vision tale: The story of a man or woman who experiences a vision, often in a dream, of the afterlife, of heaven or hell. The dream often takes the shape of a journey, and the dreamer is conducted, sometimes by an angel, through the Christian and moral otherworld.

-- Thomas Owen Clancy, “Subversion At Sea: Structure, Style, and Intent in the Immrama”

Requited waters are the clearest

St. Julian’s Well, within the precincts of the Austin Friars at Ludlow (Co. Rutland, England), is, I imagine, like St. Julian’s Church, Shewsbury, dedicated in honro of St. Juliana, the virgin martyr of Nocodemia, who bound and scourged her demon-tempter, quenched the fire prepared to burn her with her tears, and arose unurt and refreshed from a boiling cauldron, and thus may have been considered a patroness of healing waters.

- Robert Charles Hope, “The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England” 1893

Conductus (Feb. 2004)

For centuries the church owned song’s
High blue heaven -- its psalms intoned
as on the backs of angels who
Finned sea zeniths with their wings, whose
Unearthly fire was for God’s heart.
To sing lower risked sulphur’s ire.
Then a minstrel risked a new song
Which trothed church airs to a maid’s cunt.
No one could resist that devil bray
Which rollicked street to court. Later
Songs pearled hymns to love, courtly tales
Of noblesse silk. The new cathedral
Rose stone by singing stone. These poems
Once obeyed what old angels taught.
They sing now from this funky cot.

Explications of the Wave

If the sea teaches any lesson, it thunders this through the throat of all its winds: “There is no knowledge that is not valuable.”

-- Emerson at sea, in his Journal of 1833

Art and Heart

Every experience of the Otherworld is in a sense both an initiation and a marriage.

-- Alwyn & Brinsley Rees, Celtic Heritage, 297

One Love, One Song (today)

My love for you and this song
are one in this singular travail
across the empty, gorgeous sea.
Though my ways seem
pathless, I follow my heart
which knows the way
through the wilderness
of waves, seeing with
eyes we share the deeper
darker path of love, an
ache as low as the moon
hangs high over that
silver, abyssal tide.
Our love cannot be
requited though nothing
else will do than that
day or night when
we’ll merge at last
and dream and drift
off together into an
endless, clear blue space.
No matter all the
mortal loves that failed
to find you. No matter
all the instruments I’ve
blunted in my dowse
and reach for you -- penis,
guitar, pen, boat-prow.
No matter this ocean
of ink that grows
between us, filling
the hallows of your
every departure (or
were they all mine?)
with angel-burning tears.
All that matters is
the pure note welling
in my throat with
clarion and halcyon
desire, lofted over that
crystal thalassa like
a breast of pale blue milk
or the lucence of that
afterglow which brimmed
a few beds on a few
nights along this lifelong
row to you. I’m just
another luckless troubadour
marked from birth to
ache and sing to you,
my lady of royal blue seem.
Perchance today I
sing well enough of you
to stir you from your dream.
Smile for me just once
on whatever shore you
now walk. Bless these
penny verses with with
glint of your pure silver.
Kiss me once just over
the crest of the wave
I send to you from
the bottom of this art.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Why I launch these boats every day

If you bring out what is inside you,
What you bring out will save you.
If you fail to bring out what is inside you,
What you fail to bring out will destroy you.

-- from the gnostic “Gospel of St. Thomas”

The Next Sea

As if the sea should part
And show a further sea --
And that a further, and the tree
But a presumption be
Of periods of seas
Unvisited by shoers --
Themselves the verge of seas to be --
Eternity is these!

-- Emily Dickinson LLXXIV

My wish is your command

"What is it, what nameless, inscrutable, unearthly thing is it; what cozening, hidden lord and master, and cruel, remorseless emperor commands me; that against all natural lovings and longing, I so keep pushing, and crowding, and jamming myself on all the time; recklessly making me ready to do what in my proper, natural heart, I durst no so much as dare? Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it I, God, or who, that lifts this arm? But if the great sun move not of himself; nor one single star can revolve, but by some invisible power; how, then, can this one small heart beat; this one small brain think thoughts; unless God does that beating, does that thinking, does that living, and not I. By heaven, man, we are turned round and round in this world, like yonder windlass, and Fate is the handspike. And all the time, lo! that smiling sky, and this unsounded sea!"

-- Ahab in Melville’s Moby Dick

The Far Shores

A Greek named Pytheas, a resident of Massila (now Marseille) voyaged north in the 4th century BC through the Pillars of Hercules, scouting the sources of tin associated with the British Isles and amber known to come from the Baltic region. Following well-defined atlantic coasting routes used for thousands of years by the Neolithic peoples who settled along the shores and on the islands of the Atlantic littoral, Pytheus provided a remarkably accurate account of the coasts of France of Britain, including the Orkney and Shetland Isles. He may have sailed as far as Iceland, to which he gave the name Ultima Thule, the “furthest island,” but his books of travels, On The Ocean,, was subsequently lost and no one was able to confirm its existence.

The image of Ultima Thule never faded and became even more powerful in the absence of further exploration ((by the Romans)). “Like all good romantic images, it hovered on the boundaries of the unreal, creating a frisson of excitement of unresolved adventure,” writes historian Barry Cunliffe. It established a connection between islands and the unknown that would remain at the core of Western islomania for centuries to come. The association of islands with the mysterious became so strong that any unexplored place, whether or not it was surrounded by water, was assumed to be an island.

-- John Gillis, Islands of the Mind: How the Human Imagination Created The Atlantic World, 22

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.

Beyond my bounds, your bourne

O that our dreamings all, of sleep or wake,
Would all their colours from the sunset take,
From something of material sublime,
Rathern than shadow our own soul’s daytime
In the dark void of night. For in the world
We jostle -- but my flat is not unfurled
On the admiral staff -- and to philosophize
I dare not yet! O, never will the prize,
High reason, and the lore of good and ill,
Be my award! Things cannot to the will
Be settled, but they tease us out of thought.
Or is it that imagination brought
Beyond its proper bound, yet still confined,
Lost in a sort of purgatory blind,
Cannot refer to any standard law
Of either earth or heaven? It is a flaw
In happiness, to see beyond our bourne --
It forces us in summer skies to mourn,
It spoils the singing of the nightingale ...

-- John Keats, “To J.H. Reynolds, Esq.” 76-95

Blue Finitude (2003)

For now, this shore seems
endless, its tide so blue
and satisfying in all the
ways it pleases her,
or her surf-sounding ear.
I just keep on singing here
as long as she smiles
in that badass way of hers,
dark and sweet as
rum dum bossa nova
pulsing in the thickest
veld of night. I believe now
that she stayed on in that
surfside bar where I
last found her more
than 17 years ago. I was
that night a man
exhausted of all the
songs he once so believed
and played quite well,
a rock pauper reduced
to humming vampiric
ditties into his booze.
I found her there, drunk
herself, blonde and darkly
tanned, husky-voiced and
busy as all hell in a red
bikini top, her hips and
big rear wrapped in some
sort of florid tropic print.
A wasted bad girl you
wouldn’t care to woo
but so rich in that darker
milk as to make my jackals
jabber for what’s below.
We talked til closing time
drinking tall tumblers
of Myers and pineapple
juice, the fans above
slowly whirling and
whispering what the
surf outside lashed
with harder deeper beats.
She bid me follow her
back to a house in dark
Deland, and there on
a couch we proceeded
to strip and stroke and
striate the last of night
in a thick opiate dark
of dark dark blue. --- Come
dawn we found ourselves
in a pool in back, the
water in first light a
different blue, washing
our bare skin in an
oysterish liqueur, her
big fat nipples almost
black. I lost my last guitar
in the waters of that
long night: I tossed it
in that wet collapse
which formed the last
wave of a failed first
career. There one art
sounded and turned into
the next, turning blue
to black and into an ink
or oil from which
far greater turbines revved,
rising up this spluttering
well-shape high into
some verbal air, a tower’s
fume and fin I shaped
just the way she bid me.
I sit here 17 years
later apolunar to that
last raw seaside bar,
in a house and chair
where deeper oceans roam,
her yield to me spread
wide in measure to how
far this pen can swim,
or dare to. Sometimes
however I wonder if the
end of all poems
is a pale dark beach
harbored by the
same surfside bar, and
conched in that bar
she still sits waiting
patiently for me
to come straggling
in exhausted once again
in some wholly other way.
Perhaps she waits
for me to cast
this sea-ravaged pen into
the strange blue of
her savage demesne.
The was a music once
of hooves and heat.
The words came later
and were more composed,
of worlds inside the girl;
I swived and married
and forever mused:
Out there where the sea
and sky are one,
beyond the moon and
sun and starry wrack,
the next wave surely
rises and begins its
travel here. Surely
the sea-witch on her
bar-stool is smiling,
her eyes closed to the
song which jazzes on
the jukebox, the gloom
which holds here there
blue as mare’s milk,
thick and sweet and wild
and so utterly finite.

The Salmon (Nov. 2004)

Man cannot make it; on the contrary,
it is always the a priori element in
his moods, reactions, impulses,
and whatever else is spontaneous
in psychic life. It is something
that lives in itself, that makes us live.

-- Carl Jung on anima

I build and launch
these boats of ink
on paper, but you bid
me sail the next sea
toward the next isle
where, you whisper,
you await the motions
of my keel and kiss
and clench. Before
I even set this pen
to write you swirl
up from the blue
of my morning-
making brain, arising
and arousing from
a line of text I’ve
read somewhere
that sights a passage
once more here,
sufficient ache and
shore enough to
try here once again
to bed you here
at last. Something that
I read sights you
in between the lines
& then leaps in
after you with me
sailing fast behind.
That something
is a bit of soul
I was born with
which tore out from
you, as son from
womb and moon
from sea; a narrow
acre of ocean bloom
which leaps and
widens to every sound
and seem of you
and begs to hurl
that music back.
Of course I know
you don’t walk
any island I will
ever shore, and yet
no shore will
do that doesn’t fold
and crash a more
actualler you.
You lace and wiggle
just out of sight
to make
a leaping salmon
out of me, my heart’s
fins coursing
full against the
flow beyond every
noun or verb
I’ve ever found,
wild to taste what
I can’t know on lips
that smile widest
in their welcome
when fully vanishing.
I come to guess
at a physics of
the heart where you
are sine and wave at
once, deepest here and
furthest beyond, salmon
dancing high and
down-pouring Salome,
Ultima Thule and my
wife upstairs.
You’re none of them but
all their strange sweet
majesties in one tide.
Such perplex dapplement
ensures me years of
boating thus to you,
a guarantee of wave
and wash in
salt perplexity.
May all these motions
round the breasts
I found in you
and be homeward most
between the vast
so moist and bluest
I to Thou.

The Exponent of Blue

... Blue! ‘Tis the life of waters -- ocean
And all its vassal streams, pools numberless,
May rage, and foam, and fret, but never can
Subside if not to dark blue nativeness.

... What strange powers
Hast thou, as a mere shadow! But how great,
When in an eye thou art, with fate!

-- John Keasts, from “Blue! ‘Tis the life of heaven, this domain”

Sea Labyrinth (Nov. 2004)

Just beneath my trackless
ocean course between
this lonely shore and you
there lies a labyrinth,
an ancient code of your travail
which I enter as I launch
and wander as I sail,
finding the next isle
at its center not quite
sea or land but both
& you freshly departed,
the water in the well
there almost burning
with your blue, harrowed
to the dregs in the
lost carouse of you.
My job as I see it
from this chair today
is to make that
circuit canonical
and nude, an abbot
with his psalter
intoning lines over
waves that sing back
with nipples bigger
than a mouth: that
in those Nones of
stern devout your
gauzy peachy salt-
glazed beachy
pulses bossa rum sashay,
causing archangels
to go stout and
clamor for a fall,
just one, a good long
pussy plunging
dive down to the
saltiest names
of God. I see ‘em just
beyond the breakers
tumbling in a row,
those pairs of blessed
ankles and pale soles
vanishing in blue,
each like a book
tossed on the wave,
another vespering
poem. My job is
sound the depth
of that well
and count every bed
that’s lost down there,
each an inkling
burning with a desire,
an arrow’s shiver
up the mortal sense
that you’re staring
back up from that murk,
imploring all my seed
and ink and nouns.
My job’s to make
that view a shore
enfolded by incessant
tide, each wave an
antiphon and greeting
and taunt to mount
the coracle again
and chance once
more the main’s
desperately empty dazzle
with that spiral
dancing floor hidden
a mile of fathoms down
where gods and whales
and undressed lovers
sport and roam. Each
plunge and peramble
here comes to you
at last, or at least
that resonance
which hallows these
ears and haunts
my turn back home.
Each return is to
some higher deeper
ground where even
less is known and
the tide pounds harder,
like a kiss, a clench,
the next blue
widening door.

I Sing, You Listen

(Bernard de Ventadour) was handsome and adroit, he could sing well and make verses, and he was well-informed and courteous. The viscount of Ventadour, his lord, grew fond of him through his verses and his songs, and did him great honour.

The viscount had a lovely wife, gracious, young, and graceful, and she too grew fond of Bernart and his songs. She fell in love with him and he with her, so much that he made verses on her and the love he bore her. ...

Their verses lasted a long time before the viscount realized what was happening ... And when he did find out, he chased Bernart from his presence. As for his wife, he had her shut up and guarded. Then she let Bernart know that she gave him his dismissal, and she prayed him to leave her and go off.

And he left her and came to the duchess of Normandy who was young and of great merit. ... Bernart’s songs pleased her much ... He stayed a long time at her court and he was smitten with her and the lady was smitten with him, and of it he made many good songs.

But the King of England married her and took her off to England. Bernart stayed there sad and grieving. He left Normandy and went to find the court of Toulouse, where he stayed on .... and after the count’s death he abandoned the world, verses, songs, and secular pleasures, he withdrew to the Order of Dalou, and there he died.

-- Bernart’s biographer, cited in Jack Lindsay’s The Troubadours and Their World, , 99

Troubadour (Feb. 2004)

One kiss forever changed me -- not the
First but the one love at last deemed
Me ready for, an hour before
Spring woke the world with urgent green
And torrid rivers. Her song then
Found my mouth and since has never
Ceased babbling of blue skies and rafts
Floating over drowned suburbs and
Churches I once prayed in. Merry
In mind yet desperate of heart,
That music is my sea-horse,
My life from shore to shore. Heaven
Knows where that woman fled to
Affrighted by this strange throat’s roar:
In that river I sing her soar.

Tapestry (Nov. 2004)

In the story of my father’s
name (a bastard relic
now at best) there are
harpists in our history
who entertained the
Norman kings in the
south of Ireland: And
when those kings and
their courts washed
back into the Irish
sea, their minstrelsy
wandered forth, seeking
patronage in whatever
semblance of a court
that sad country
could provide. A
family singer of the
17th century lamented,
“who will buy a poem?”
and concluded, “I’m
a ship with a ruined
cargo/now the famous
Fitzgeralds are gone./
No answer. A terrible case./
It is all in vain that I ask.”

Perhaps that’s why
one of ours boarded
the Sea Sprite in
1779, carrying that
music to Boston Harbor.
But when were your
songs ever safe, praising
the rise of kings who
always fell, revelling
in love’s wild delights
beyond the pale of
papal decree and
the prying eyes of
royal husbands? Such
blasphemy and scandal
have always pleased you
well, even if your
mortal lovers all found
sorrow at the far ends
of their verses. No matter.
All those years I wandered
and blundered learning
how not to drink from
those three cups of song
which festoon my father’s
crest: a delight only to
you. Certainly not for
my mortal loves; nor
even much in my
long education in
singing mortal songs about love.
The rise and fall of
every wave to you
is holy and florid,
no matter how wet
and scraggly my
leaps become in them.
That naked man
astride the mean-
looking dolphin atop
the crest -- he’s not
giving up the song.
That’s plain from
the motto -- Not by
Providence but Victory!
which is written under
wall like a labia
buzzing a Bronx cheer
to every noble aim
and their chaste remains.
You love this sweet
cacophony of lost
and lonely songs
forever hitting shores
you’ve just left behind.
Whatever I set to paper
here was lifted from
that sweet air
drifting in from
the absence you hurl,
like perfume, everywhere
you’ve been: A high
strange music which
my lyrics dare complete
or at least ferry to
the next wild shore
flapping in the breeze
like your dress
just out of sight.
Libraries and chapels
and writing chairs
are just our way
of trying to master you,
as men build dams
and bulwarks against
the sea. But the music
like a tide is crashing
down the shore
where you are close,
oh, closer than the
margin of a kiss.
You have made of me
a brine-soaked harp
which sings of you
everywhere there’s
moonlight on the strings
and blue dazzle in the springs.

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