…when all becomes that linear-
life’s heart put in a box-
seek the sea air:
light showers dazzle, wind kisses ache,
sky offers stairways to Spirit…
salt breath of mercy, happiness retrieved
Ecstatic, potent as a siren with wind-ruffled allure
the sea breaks beyond our lifted hands.
You spin, bend and unravel a cocoon of mist,
hair tossed wide like a burnished net,
catching cries of gulls, shadows of cormorant wings.
A dangerous joy! I follow, brace myself
for demon waves that may dare to capture you
but you disappear, no backward glance.
I discover you barefooted atop the rocks,
waiting for shoes to float in.
Not stranded; alive, shining.
Eyes are drenched in sea light,
hands licked by stinging salt, alien foam,
and barnacles hold firm beneath your toes.
Broken shells you give me, agate adornments,
and laughter that calls to fishes, seaweed,
and you sing free a blaze of light along the horizon.
You dance toward an incoming tide
for you are falling in love, out of
sadness and its dogged fears,
your woman-child wildness stirring up
sweet tang of air, hope anchored again.
The river greets me at this gateway hour
as it slinks through twilight like a secret
receding into netherworlds, its depths
shielded by arrival of night’s perplexities.
Within its quietude, creatures are mudbound,
await to be swept up by flicks of wind,
to spiral into its sleek rocky blueness.
Wintering currents roll through dirt, by trees
that receive with whispers. Sky reconciles
past with present, lays its tenderness
onto the low-slung back of river now
moving toward me on the watch point.
I glimpse my reflection; it is reconfigured
as it is taken elsewhere on the icy edge, into
gradations of light and darkness, light redux.
Riding these waters, I become a simpler woman,
unfettered, unafraid. Welcomed into a wilder fold.
Forget the rest, all hurtful things
and any false efforts, the energies
discharged when every look and
multiple words meant more or less
than what was needed or imagined,
and still the train of youth barreled
into midnights and mornings
when what mutely drew you was an
enthrallment, a peace planted and
blooming in the heart of chaos.
Which is here, now, and reverberates
up and down canyons and trees
with arms raised as you carry on
one heartbeat at a time, rocks sharp
though they give way and mossy places
still nestled, tender after all this time.
And the water flows, falls to earth
generous with riches, and long before you.
The wind carries secrets to all creatures
yes, and kindly, and always to you who are
made of starshine, angelica, pine sap and love,
brought into this slice of time, a drop of dew,
a tiger soul resonant with ancient life.
(For my granddaughter)
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