Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Changeling (Nov. 2003)

She has changed in my soul’s eye
as I rowed isle to isle in search
of her: Her eyes from blue to green,
her hair from blonde to red
to a mellow auburn; the swoon
of her once-revealing breasts
has lowered to the sight of
her walking away from me.
At first it was my historic row
with her, each night a chase,
each bed a beckons beyond
which I had no sense or smarts
to follow. Then it was my history’s
scriptorium, as I wrote down
the story of each encounter,
weaving spoory myths around
her nightly thrall. Now it
seems I just boat the narrow
straits inside the story, and
I do not see her at all, just blue
beckons, red plunge, the ebbing
tide of farewell. Her song was first
snatched from the faintest breeze
piping from the flimsiest reed,
but it has grown as it dove down
through all the tenors of a
salt orchestra, piccolo to flute
to bassoon to doublebass, on
down to a grand tolling organ,
whose vox humana notes grind
the oceans from the lowest,
basalt bass. Deep and deeper
do I find her, down the long
shelves and arras of the abyss,
down to the very crack of doom
which splits the sea-beds wide.
And in that malefic fire I salt
her female swoon, all my ends
crowned there with her O Gods,
her heart-bursting O Yes. Will
it ever end, this blue descent
into the matins of the muse?
Do I even care? For if every day
there’s fresh milk and strewn
underwear then I can row forever,
a changeling at the oar who
became wavelike in his roar,
racing over seas all night of
a life to psalm each day’s greeting
on the next new nippled shore,
my inkwell ever changing
the hues of her dolor
-- though the pulse is singular
and just one heart I know houses
the whole symphonic pour
of her parallelling vicissitudes,
of her every dawning door.


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