Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Monday, February 14, 2005

Tuion ("Singing Robe") (2001)

There is the poet
in his feathered robe,
reciting the lays
of a flight which descend
into the deep ends
of our dim daily rounds.
Harrowing and precarious
the inside of every
common vault -- love,
quests, otherwordly
encounters written
in a secular font.
Such inwardings
would strip a verseless
person raw as beef:
His metres are like
feathers on an earnest
wing which sees all
in passing, greeting
the ogre on the road
without haste or without
stopping. Such songs
are a matter
of imbalance and
importunity -- qualities
no one else tethers
to such royal gain.
Not that he has any
better luck in the
goings of a life:
the worm gnaws every
human bone. Notice how
the brusies beneath his eyes
map a wearied encounter
with that paupering muse.
No, the poet is only
a zooted-up courier from
the high aeries of the heart,
a king’s moist mistress sighing
his praises from the gauzy
bowers of his lays.
His boat is poetry and
he ferries us across the
divide in each of us
between our language
and ecstasies. It’s a common
enough trade, no more
distinguished than
motleyed fool or
dancing sickleman.
They’re all attendants
in the house of thrall:
his specialty is simply
to beat those wild wings
over the sea in us
which too saltily and deeply sings,
and sing that music back.


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