Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

“Donna del miue paratge” (Jan. 23, 2005)

Messenger, leave in the morning.
The voyage won’t be long.
To my friend in his own far land
carry now this song.
Tell him I’ve very happy
with the words he said to me
after he’d given me a kiss
beneath the canopy.

-- Anonymous song of a lonely lady,
c. 1200, sung by a woman who called
herself a great lady, donna del miue
(Jack Lindsay, The Troubadours
and their world)

The greater half of my
verse faith crosses,
like the sea,
to your white shores
where you sing
forever waiting for me
to return and find
you ready and willing
to begin at last,
after all lives.
Queen of beaches
like a pale white valve
to all blue heights
and depths, I hear
your song best at
the lonely hour
I spend boarding
ache and fret
on paper dragon ships,
dispatching my love
on that courier tide
that circles globes
and hearts, my longing
shipped to you and
yours returned to me.
I doubt we’ll ever meet
but this correspondence
is an old & deep affair,
our missives long
stained black by
dolphin foam,
old passions brewing
brine and brimstone
in the ink amid the
gentler ichors of abyss,
the orchid fragrance of
one remembered kiss
in that bower we both
stumbled on and
then stumbled through
each other, yearning
for whatever younger people
mistake for fire. The
bed we’ll share again
may shore in death, or
lives like every isle yet
to be found: suffice
here now that I heard
a high and distant sound
inside the winds now
blasting hard down from
the north, a pink
tongue for all their
teeth revealed. Heard you,
great lady, in that chambered
room inside the conch
I lifted on my morning
rounds here, down from
my great white writing chair:
Heard the voice which rules
the greater half of
the wild world
beneath the leagues of blue,
song of my soul’s unvanquished
ache to sing the depths of you.


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