Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Ache (Jan. 25, 2005)

Inside this ache
what immortal waves,
each curve a curragh
smashing every shore
of the unknown world,
foaming at your naked
feet. And yet, how
solitary this pulse
of depth in days
where work and more
is always not enough
and nights arrive
exhausted, ebbed, sore,
with bed just the
day’s last door before
erasure in a
drowning bliss.
This ache which is
the greater half of
all I love has no
home in landed worlds
but washes restless
as the moon around
your absence, like the
old sea god who
departed from one
country of faith
to exile in salt other,
vowelling all the names
of former fire, like
a tongueless bell,
down every black chasm.
I have held the music
of this ache so dear
and for so long that
just three notes of it
suffice on this next
pre-dawn peramble
down the cold beach
all alone: the crash
of waves, the sighing wind,
the petrel’s cry down
miles of sand. My ache
is all that remains
of that day we woke
and walked the shore
together one morning
lives ago, your smile
dissolved in a woman’s
face who frowned
in shadow and left
me there, disappearing
into a darkling tide
til only tides
recalled that bed
love woke me on.
I write these songs
on pages white as
the ice the old sea
god mounts atop
the pole of the
unknown world
when moonlight drowns
the known: My words
are borne on the
wave-back of his ache,
spawned when the world
was young. His love
was like a heart
which tore loose and
floated free above soul-
waters, its light sad
and blue as bar-stool rue.
To every tide its singer,
and I am just the
next tumult to fold
and crash and ebb,
a bucketful of moonlit
ache tossed on the page
in that woman’s shape
before she washed away.


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