Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Siren's Tongue (Jan. 21, 2005)

(Jan 21, 2005)

She sings on a black
rock just beyond the
tide, her voice inside
each treacherously-
breaking wave to
wash all shores salt blue.
What language ferries
deep that music here,
crossing ages, seas
and lifelong loves,
untranslatable and
unfathomable, undinal
in the crash and foam
which draws and
then denies me? It names
a girl, almost, her
breasts revealed
above the wave, her
throat pure white
and necklaced with
sea-foam, her cold
blue eyes reckless
and wild and set on
me in a way that
sees and psalms
progeniture beyond
all words I have
yet sired. Gaelic in its
lilt and plush yet
older as the stars
that sing the moon
up from the sea
to tide above yet
deeper in the waters
I really mean to say
but can’t, not yet.
Her song was wakened
in me in one shoreless
kiss a thousand years
ago: Since then
I’ve been rowing hard
to every known shore
and many more not
found on any map,
the long lost music
still ringing in my
ear like waves inside
a shell, or dreams
which drift ashore
all day in tatters of
the purest silk. Ah how
could words be loving
yet so cruel, the merry
foaming wave an oubliette
to so many rooms below,
each winnowed with abyss?
Malefic? Maddened?
Welled from the
worst booze? Yes--
But the song she pours
into this breaking scree
is the from sea half of
my heart’s decree, a child
both of water and its God.
A strange chanson that’s
altared best on these narrow
shores I walk and
write, on pages white
as her pale throat
out beyond the morning’s
dross of hotel coffee
& hours of selling
soap downstairs. Psalter
me, o love, just where
your tides siren the air.
Wash me with your next blue mare.


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