Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Friday, January 07, 2005

Labor Day by the Sea (Sept. 2000)

Into the amniotic wash of Labor Day by the sea,
Ponce Inlet, SUVs and vans perched feet from high tide,
a sweet dreamy breeze caressing waves softly toward the shore,
sun straight up the dome and still fierce,
my body yielding to the kiss and suck of summer and sea
and curved eternities:
I sit in my folding chaise reading Walt Whitman to the salt breeze,
singing lines which pulsed rhythmic between my body and the sea,
trailing off the page to watch passerby, kids with boogie boards,
young couples proud in what still is unripened,
mothers given over to the suck of their babies,
leathery old men and women resolute to their end,
all emptying out like a tide, leaving just the sea before me,
softly folding and breaking in warm plashing waves,
sibilant in all the ejaculate praises of Walt, the song never ending,
finding in each new age new hearts to break into what now
passes for praise, nursing my aches and spawning my fevers:
I thought I heard the sea sigh oh come nestle in me
as it broke gently into foam and so I walked out into the surf
not believing a syllable but wishing it ever more,
praying for baptism to the rhythm and pulse of each wave,
finally diving beneath a tall one and going still trying to feel
God’s dazzle and drowse wash over and through me
cleansing and lifting me up from selfish gambols,
but it was just a wave going over and I rose up into brilliant clean air
no fresher with rebirth than a moment before but such truths
themselves are nourishing, forever alone yet one inside the womb
I wake and walk from merged at least between arrow and bow
riding metaphorically a dolphin which takes me beyond all I know:
The sun and sea are just ciphers, a mystery which refuses solution
though I stand here naked as law and love permit, my pilgrimage unending:
“You must derange your life” I once wrote by these waters five years ago,
but now I think there isn’t really a choice, life makes you crazy anyway;
Today I hear the sea sing to me
love well your wounds for in thy blooding thou art free;
salt smart hugs I have for you on this bed which rises and falls

And I close my eyes standing in the shallows of the rest of this life
hoping to praise what little I have, praying to love with all of my heart,
turning back toward shore at last without any benediction to share
with you but blue green waters and a brilliant sun
and a breeze which sighs Eurydice O woman of waters
I am forever here on this shore between I and Thou
singing ocean songs to the sea, braiding your name in the day.


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