Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Third Isle (Feb. 8, 2005)

There came a long dark season
when I tried to marry in both worlds,
loving my wife in the home we
daily made, and straying off to
woo your wild verbotens, daring
at the utmost peril to my first
and actual love just to press my
face into the saltiest curves
and mouth the dregs of you.
Errant fool, I strayed into the
woods from my path, chasing
glints and phosphor, first with
the mildest and most forgivable
of wrongs -- what man doesn’t
deserve a hearty peek into
the glade -- and then by silky-
so-savage degrees, my resolve
emboldened by the fire building
down below, I transgressed deep
and deeper til I was lost in
thrall, no husband anyone would
recognize by the wounded,
wicked lights he almed and
lamped and called. Daring to
leave home and dive full in
up to my neck in whiskey
and those loosened nights
where I found and flung
my heat’s desire, I ravened
far through lace and thorns,
the itch empurpled and
plunging me deep, down
to the sweetest abysms
a falling man could call.
Poor fool me, poor fucker,
poor asshole, poor souse:
my hard-fought house fell fast
in ruin like a collapse of poker
cards, leaving me a man most
without, self-abandoned on love’s
third isle, neither married
in my mind nor free in heart
to truly quest, much less sing
aptly enough those labials
I’d sacked all shores for.
Thus humbled and unhorsed,
I walked the million miles
home, a path I suspect will
thread the rest of my days.
God graced me to this third life
which harbors a third sea,
my song still riven to white
shores but loosed from
actual sands, literal tides,
much less too real metaphors
like dolphin riders or me
finding you on any distant
shore. Still the rhythms
of blue waves are hoof and
fin enough to write the music
down, the metrics of abandon
strict and strapping and
oh-so-bottomless. I suspect
I’ll hug this rock til Doomsday,
singing blue matins in both
penance and penury of
the delights which need no
riders to smash every ship
to shore, my Amens ever
freighted with the
next blue-belling More.


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