Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Shore (Feb. 16, 2005)

A shore is as narrow
as the reach from
heart to God or my
lips to yours. It’s
strict as margins
go: a ligament of
incessant pulse
I keep returning to,
bound by an ache
I can resist no
abler than requite,
no matter how many
times here I’ve tried.
So my Theme is
like a corset of
rhyme foaming at
my feet, constraining
wild-bosomed and
salt-bottomed life
to the rigors of
one walk between
the crash and ebb
of unforgettable
nights and dry days
whose ears are harrowed,
like conch-shells,
with that distant,
unrelenting sound.
Perhaps you, fair
reader -- could such
a thing exist in this
world of long-drowned
books -- perhaps you
would rather I
just let these puppies
breathe and loose
my verbals wild and
free to roam the nooks
of the free world --
to write not one but
ten thousand Themes.
Sorry -- I have
ravened on the world
that way, my taste
for bluelettes only
whetted with each
bouree, scarcely tasting
the sea-depths welling there.
No, I have settled
down and married here
to walk my daily course,
penning in wet verse
a narrow peramble
down a page’s whiter shore
singing between dead
silence and the next
wave’s wild-maned course.
Its rise and fold and
long rolling boom tasks
the next poem with
providing enough room
for grapes and hooves,
erotics and rhetorics,
a splash of lactate wash
and fins of first fire
spilling in your womb,
siring sirens and
madmen maddened
by the sound of gloamings
stretched on a surf’s
hot loom and you
astraddle my singular
device crooning
Dylan, Dylan -- my
older, saltier, wave
wandering name.
Well, that’s
the endless labor
of my shore’s benighting,
my predawn perambling
Theme. And if I am
bound too tightly to
these sands, swaddled for
much darker beds
than those tiny creakers
you woke then left
me on, then may my
doom prove resonant
for the eternals gathered
here. The sound of
tides is so riven
in my tribe’s ears
that no one ever
walked here that
didn’t wash away,
trying for the rest
of their blue years
(where one love
pours the sands of time)
to find a way to
sing inside a
savage toil and
bind back all
loosened hearts
into one kiss.


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