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Posts Tagged ‘sea’



inspired by “Seascape near Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer” by Vincent van Gogh and music by Kayleen Asbo, “Les Bateaux de Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer”


Dear Vincent, I wish I could speak of grief
as well as you articulate the colors of the sea,
naming all the hues as they change in the light—
noting the deep ultramarine near the shore
even as it tends toward pale russet, toward violet.
It’s always changing, you wrote to Theo.
You can’t even tell if it’s blue because
a second later the changing light
has taken on a pink or gray tinge.
The same is true of shades of loss—
the moment I identify a deep feeling sorrow,
I notice pale hints of trust, nuances of awe.
The moment I name it tenderness,
it shifts into pain, ferocity, exhaustion.
Tonight I stared into the seascape you painted
on the shores of the Mediterranean,
and I knew myself not as the water
with its capricious tones, but as the boat
that sails upon it, something transported
by all this change. I tried to see the sea
with the same perspective you had:
It wasn’t very cheery but neither was it sad
it was beautiful. 
Oh those blue depths with their emerald, their white.
I let myself be carried by that beauty.

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Remembering




In the moments after
my father died
I slid next to him on the bed,
and though I held
the anchor of his body,
still warm, I felt untethered
from above and below—
felt the loss of my father
and the loss of my son—
and knew myself adrift alone.

For a long time, I lie there,
too loose, too free,
alone, alone, alone,
and a tender voice
I have heard before
said, Oh sweetheart,
did you forget?

I knew what it meant—
did I forget love would meet me
anywhere I am? And love
showed me in that moment
an infinite sea and said,
Sweetheart, it’s true,
you’re alone. It’s always been true.
And the only thing
that will ever ground you
is not the object of love,
but love itself.

And there in those infinite waters
love baptized me as its own.
No horizon in sight.
And I am not alone.

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Perhaps Next Time

 

 

Vast and powerful,

the invitation

like a sea

with a surf

and unknowable tides—

 

I do not want to stay

on the shores

of my life.

I want to run headlong

into the waves,

to feel myself buoyed

and challenged,

to know myself

as one who risks,

who emerges

shimmering.

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And while I am at it, I should like to send you

a postcard from the shores of my body,

wish you were here, it is warm and there

are so many places for us to explore

together—but even as I write these words

the letters grow ink dark wings and fly

over the sea, a colony of cormorants,

silent as they soar, and I a beach with no footprints,

the waves lapping, everywhere the scent, the sting of salt.

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Without A Map

 

 

Silly me, I thought the boat was empty.

Thought there was no one else here to paddle

or steer. Thought I was alone and too small

to reach the rudder, too weak to lift

the great oars, somehow not seeing

the sea itself as captain, the sea itself as crew,

its waves carrying me places I never knew I needed

to go until, on that strange new shore, I found

myself exactly where I needed to be,

shipwrecked and wildly alive.

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Some things do not easily
leave the sea.
In an instant they shift
from buoyant grace
to cumbersome weight.

Remember that night
we stood beside the surf
and the whole wet world
stretched shining before us?

We wrestled the wave runner
onto the trailer, and I
felt some kinship with
those first prehistoric fish
who dragged their lobe fins
onto the beach, those fish
who, driven by what?
struggled up and out
and learned a new way to move,
a new way to breathe,
grew a new kind of skin
and a new kind of spine.

For a moment, tugging
on the wet rope,
I knew it, some hint of the drive
bred into my body
over the past four hundred
million years. How I gasped
at the gift of it all—these
legs, these lungs, this upright head,
these biceps burning
against the burden
of emergence, the glitter
of light as it leaves, the scent
of honest sweat.

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Instructions

Do this always,
touch me new.
Always do not

know exactly
what to do.
Meet me the way

the waves
meet the sand,
repeatedly

and unplanned.
Crash with me,
lap me, erode me,

reveal me,
rearrange me,
unmake me and make

me again.
Bring me treasures
you’ve kept hidden

wild in your depths.
Soften me. Smooth me.
Still me. Move me.

Take me where I’ve
never been. And take
me again, and then

take me again.
There is so much
left to weave.

Leave, but return,
and whatever you do,
do it new.

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