Beach Worship

My Beloved gently runs His fingers through my hair
in the breeze on the beach
as He calls me
in the rumble of the waves.

the birds fly
like seraphim
proclaiming His Love.

I look to the sea -
His love is even more vast
than the endless horizon.

Yet there is a pile of bottles and cans
that someone has left in the sand
that need to be cleaned up.

Poem Fragments

The Perseids: A Guided Meditation

I started this back during the Perseids. I had ideas of where I wanted to go with it, but haven't had time to come back to it, So, here it is as is. Maybe I'll work on it more later.

Turn off the 42 inch meditation focal point,
the focal point with talking heads
that distract us from what matter,
the focal point that jerks your emotions
with bright flashes and loud explosions.

Sit on the porch, with your head tilted back
and choose a smaller focal point.
I like Marfak, Theta Cassiopeiae,

Cape Cod Pitch Pines

Likewise, I had originally thought of this as a longer piece. We'll see when I get back to it

The sunlight seeped through the pitch pines
above the warmed berries below
creating a dappled image that would flummox
even the most dedicated jigsaw puzzler.

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Isaac Was Here, Too.

The evening’s oppressive heat and humidity
finally broke in the middle of the night
in a fierce storm
leaving the morning
cooler, yet still damp.

On the beach
we wrote
“Isaac was here”
in the sand
as we looked out
over a great sea of grief
to our friends
remembering their son
in London.

In the sand was a leaf of dune grass
looking like a trampled palm leaf
on the streets of Jerusalem
towards the end
of Holy Week.

Near the words
were tiny fish
washed a shore
by the storm
that couldn’t be saved.

The waves will erase our words,
but not the memory
Isaac was here, too.

At The Clark

Standing in the presence of great beauty
as portrayed by an artist in great pain
amidst a crowd of visitors,
driven up from the city.

What was his illness
and who were the people
he painted in the public gardens
of Arles?

How curious they are to me,
like the crowds of men and women
that caught Whitman’s attention
on the Brooklyn Ferry

Did any of them suspect
their place in history?
My great grandfather
was in the park in Arles
with Van Gogh.
My great aunt
rode the ferry
with Whitman
from Brooklyn.

Now, we stand in museums
looking at Van Gogh’s paintings
We go to special poetry events
where Whitman is read and discussed.
And somewhere,
young men are sitting in libraries
learning a quote
from Emerson
Cicero, Locke, and Bacon,
forgetting that Emerson also
was once a young man
sitting in the library
years before Van Gogh painted
or Whitman wrote.

The Goose

The loud thump
from a heavy dead weight
hitting the floor in the kitchen
shook me from a deep sleep
in my bedroom
in the basement
beneath the kitchen.

We lived far from town
so an intruder was unlikely
but so was timely help
if I could even get
to the phone
in the kitchen.

I was on edge since my father left
and I often came home
to find
my mother in tears
at the kitchen table.
Had she done something rash?

In late November
the previous year
I had gone canoeing with my father.
Snow had already fallen
but the lake had not frozen yet.
A cold wind
had raised the waves.

On the lake
a solitary goose
with a broken wing
swam searching for food.
“He can’t fly south,”
my father said.
“He’ll freeze and starve to death, here”.

And so, the wild goose chase began
as we paddled after him.
When we got close
he’d dive under the water.
A scared goose with a broken wing
is still a strong swimmer.

Eventually, my father caught him
killed him
dressed him
and put him in the freezer.

As I was lying in bed,
my heart still thumping
listening closely
for other sounds
I heard more thumps
like something
being knocked across the floor.

My curiosity grew larger than my fear
and gathering up all my courage
I headed upstairs.
There, I found our dog,
a large white Samoyed,
who had knocked the frozen goose
off the bread table
where it had been left to thaw
for tomorrow’s dinner.
To him, it was a giant
hockey puck.

I put the goose
in a safer place
out of the reach
of the dog
and went
to bed.

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