Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Friday, January 28, 2005

Third Well (2003)

If you too long and too
hard into the forest,
eventually you’ll see
deer everywhere.

-- Hunter’s saying

A well is not a whale.
Nor is every poem
ripened from that gut.
Look: The last day
of verse to fit into
this 100 page composition
book, and what powers
are left to evoke from
a narrow throat of cold?
Eventually the whale
vomits the hero onto
the shore & swims off.
We walk back home
and get to work.
Have I rung well enough
the diving bell in this
bale of bluey matins?
Long and deep enough
in the Oran-marrowed
trough? In the Mabinogion
Manannan and Pryderi
travel through 3 towns
perfecting 3 crafts --
saddles in one, shields
in another, gold shoes
in a third -- once
they’ve mastered the
craft & raise the ire
of their fellow craftsmen.
Exhausting all the
possibilities of one
name of God, they
move on. Is a creative
life one well, or the
sum of many? The
singing fills a metaphor
til it’s soaked --
home, sea-roads, well --
and moves on. For
years I played guitar,
for more years I’ve
written poems. Perhaps
there is a third cup
yet to fill & spill --
an art for old age,
explorations distilled
from the first two.
It’s up to the God
of Oran’s talky sod,
to that tiller of the
loam of singsong
erectile bone. Me?
I just move the pen,
praying for the wisdom
and willingness to know
when one door closes
and its time to make
the next door open
and when the work
has simply dreamed
into the third room
further down.


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