The Return

I know you have your worries,
I have my worries too,
Yet what is life without worries?
I’m one of the unhurried few.

When this all is over,
I’ll learn to fish again.
I’ll cast my nets into the sea,
I’ll learn to be a friend.

A hibernating spider
Is dreaming of my pen;
I’ll write about the worries
Until we turn again.

Then we’ll be in Avalon,
There we’ll live in the sea;
Speared by a sheering light
Of love, and quiet harmony.

Escargatoire

A promenade of snails
And promises daily entailed,
Within life’s escargatoire
Resides a finer refuge
From the Summer hails.

Every season
Unseasonal,
We walk a mountain trail.
Those fine Autumn rains,
Appalachian;
More than mizzle,
Less than drizzle,
Somewhere blessed and inbetween.

Reminding me of times
When briefly I felt
Communion with my
Thalassic soul,
And saltwaters surrounding
That long-lost littoral shoal
Changed, in time,
Jurassic coast
Metamorphosed whole
From teeth into salves
And then what else
I’ll never know,
Fuel for other people’s dreams
And other people’s songs.

We gave the world away
To dancers and to singers,
But in the giving of our gift
We salsaed with the sinners.

It will not be so long
Before this Autumn’s gone;
Where do we go, love,
With all our homes eroded
In this unfathomable loss;
Where chances all expired
And the precipice is seen,
Who will build a northern spire
Where you and I once dreamed;
Of weather and of mountains
And snails in their desmene,
And who will put a cross atop
Our church beneath the Sea.

L’eternità è intatta

Rain doesn’t stream
Asunder the sea,
Nor be in hurries
Today for my needs.

I’ve seen through storm-troubles
For years less remembered;
By its own great weight
A sea- bed is tempered.

Ashamed of existing,
More waters have laws
Than my calcified heart.
Il mio calore è per l’inverno, sempre;
L’eternità è intatta come l’arte.

The bones of an ocean’s regrets;
Troubles redoubled
Do not go away,
When years are persisting
And the sea is still grey.

Ode To A Parking Lot, No.2

Grief, do not disparage me,
Do not diminish my yearning
To observe the rites I will learn
In turn, by rote, just as oceans
Spurn the lode in mackerel bones
And whiting dreams and cod,
Fulfilling the needs in fishermen’s
Ganseys and hand-made
Tablecloths their wives
Once ironed, having washed,
On kitchen benches draped across,
Though sometimes a trawler
Or two were lost and the sea,
With blind unfeeling disbelieving
Reasons breeding in their peaks
And troughs, duplicitous sea,
Brought home only grief and loss,
Those I have known and those
I have not, as I cried on my own
At midnight in a parking lot.

Symptomatic

Is this world both one and true
As that within my mind,
From Argonauts, Thelassian crew,
A golden fleece to find.

I felt the sea the same,
That gentle Aegean lapping;
Did Peloponnesian navies tame
The inlets I am mapping.

Or is this landscape’s manifest
From minds divested only;
Symptomatic, I am a guest,
Devoid of fleet and lonely.

Don’t pity me, a juvenile,
These sands and weeds aren’t homely.
Owned by ones I could not find,
Wandering lost and lonely.

Canto Dell’aragosta

They used to eat lobsters here,
Before beginning the end of ends;
In restaurants, on promenades or piers
Which have since all disappeared –
Overlooking the Papal Bay of Scampi
Patés of blue tomalley.

Fresh from the sea, picked from a pot,
Seasoned with salt for a rich polyglot;
Suspended in freezers, icy blocks,
They tied the pincers, joined the dots;
As he played with his ring
He lied to his wife that his lover had gone.

A lobster with one claw or less is named
A Cull, in Maine and the eastern seaboard.
The male transfers sperm through its legs,
The red is the red of the roe;
We breathe through our gills
Through the gaps in our toes.

Once we have extinguished all nature,
Where will dharma and karma take us?
My hands are changing before me,
My body will soon have its telson.
I will adapt to a life on dark distant beds,
Before I am speared, for fatter men fed.

An Unrestarted Heart

This road is the road of my death.
I stood motionless in its lucid waters
Where parallel to the ocean

I speared a neon fish.
He admonished me with a fossilising
Shock of ages, waged in his eyes

Which were tiny, glaucous opals.
He once danced and shone
In shoals unknowable as stars.

I am opposed to my own taxidermy.
Standing in the sea leaves me thirsty.
The sky is perforated by jars

For storing a catch which is ours.
Lobsters, swordfish, octopus hearts,
Once the muscle is stopped

It’s almost impossible to restart.
I witnessed it only once, as a boy,
And mythology claimed it for herself.

How far we had journeyed.
I envisioned my existence
With gulls and oppressive seasalt air

Which stripped the elders of teeth
And their ability to remain human,
Their silence as fragile as chalk,

And it corroded all moments
And customs, the colours of
Spring summoned in my lover’s hair,

The jigs of tradition around
A pole each townsmen bore
To the beach with such gravitas

Commensurate only to their souls;
The saline air froze time,
Woven into their hair, banded

Together like a comet’s tail,
Like the spawn of the golden eels
Which are reeled in by fishermen

With the sun tattooed into
Their ganseys. I too will be spry
And fry, live and die,

There is nothing starker.
For now, I arrive and I cry
Behind my steering wheel,

A harpoon through my hope,
Ego skewered by a dart
Outside an unlit supermarket.

Cloud Poem

I caught a glimpse of the lady
I would love eternally,
Retained in the shape of a bather
In a photo reflecting the sea.

The sacred four-horned oxen
Walked on stones in my heart,
I prayed I may evaporate,
And fall into her arms.

As my quiet prayer was calling,
Deathly forests distracted me;
From clouds I started my descent,
Ended in your memory.

In one such forest’s fated clearing
A brook of crystal waters dried,
A spring to feed the falling prayers,
A place of rest for a bride.

The clouds merged in to mountains,
Mountains gave birth to the sea,
If only longer I’d waited,
And brought an end to all misery.