Sunday, July 06, 2008

...later that day...

i *did* find my way to the ocean today. packed a light lunch, grabbed the moon is always female, put my sunglasses on and took route 77 out to two lights. i even managed to find a quiet spot on the rocks, a fair enough distance away from other human beings that i could imagine i had the entire view of the atlantic all to myself. nibbled at my lunch and let marge piercy's words drench me. eventually closed the book and then my eyes and just...took it all in. i'm an aquarian, through and through, and nothing soothes me like the water that i was born bearing.

now i'm back home, car returned, thinking about maybe tossing a veggie burger on the grill, cracking the last boathouse brown ale in the fridge, and calling it a day. the three days off were not nearly enough to get me to that place in my head that i long to be, but they'll have to do, for the moment anyway.

i'll leave you with this fairly lengthy but unbelievably beautiful piercy poem, which captures better than i ever could the way i was feeling out on those rocks today. tumbling and tangled, indeed.


Tumbling and with tangled mane


I wade in milk.
Only beige sand exists as the floor
of a slender nave before me.
Mewing fishhook cries of gulls
pierce the white from what must be up.
The fog slides over me like a trained
snake leaving salt on my lips. Somewhere
I can hear the ocean breathing.
The world is a benign jellyfish.
I float inhaling water that tastes
of iodine and thin bright blood.


We squat on a sandbar digging as the tide
turns and runs to bury the crosshatched scales,
the ribs of the bottom as if the ebbing
of waters exposed that the world is really
a giant flounder. As we wade landward
the inrushing tide is so cold
my ankles ring like glass bells.
We lie belly up baking as the ocean
ambles towards us nibbling the sand.
Out to sea a fog bank stands like world's
end, the sharp place where the boats fall off.


When a storm halts, people get into their
cars. They don't start picking up yet, the bough
that crashed on the terrace, the window
shattered. No, they rush with foot hard down
on the accelerator over the wet winding black
topped roads where pine and oak start out
normal size and get smaller till they are
forests for mice. Cars line up on the bluff
facing waves standing tall as King Kong,
skyscrapers smashed before a giant wrecking ball.
Mad water avalanches. You can't hear.
Your hair fills with wet sand. Your windshield
is being sandblasted and will blind you as the sun
burns a hold in the mist like a cigarette
through a tablecloth and sets fire to air.


A dream, two hundred times the same. The shore
can be red rocks, black or grey, sand dunes
or barrier reef. The sun blazes. The sky
roars a hard blue, blue as policemen.
The water is kicking. The waves leap
at the shore like flames out of control.
The sea gnashes snow capped mountains
that hurl themselves end over end, blocking
the sky. A tidal wave eats the land. Rearing
and galloping, tumbling and with tangled
mane the horses of the surf with mad eyes,
with snorting nostrils and rattling hooves
stampede the land. I am in danger
yet I do not run. I am rooted watching
knowing that what I watch
is also me.

Making makes guilt. Cold fierce mother
who gouges deep into this pamet, who
rests her dragon's belly on the first rocks,
older than land, older than memory,
older than life, my power is so little
it makes me laugh how in my dreaming
lemur's mind making poems or tales or
revolution is this storm on a clear day.

Of course danger and power mingle in all
birthing. We die by what we live by.
Again and again that dream comes when I set
off journeying to the back of my mind,
the bottom of the library, a joust with
what is: the sun a fiery spider high
overhead, the colors bright and clear as glass,
the sea raging at the coast, always about
to overrun it, as in the eye of a hurricane
when the waves roll cascading in, undiminished
but for a moment, and in that place the air
is still, the moment of clarity out
of time at the center of an act.

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