“Our very life depends on continuous acts of beginning. But these beginnings are out of our hands; they decide themselves.
Beginning precedes us, creates us. There is nothing to fear in the act of beginning.
More often than not it knows the journey ahead better than we ever could."
John O’Donohue

20 April 2015, Alcatraz


It seems as likely
that what Narcissus came to,
wandering the overgrowth without destination,
was that waiting well of sadness
in his own heart,
the prison of remembering.
It was the sinking, not the surface,
that lured him in.
And he couldn't help but stare
into the eyes of someone so near and unfamiliar,
into the dark pond spawning ample life
of brief tenure.
Flowering on the muddy banks of loss
is just the way of tenacious things.

Though you can't help but wish he had known 
her ruinous beauty, 
tremor of breath,
depth calling to depth.

16 April 2015, Spanish Bay

Spanish Bay 

I went out alone in rising light
to the place they say the explorer mistook
for Monterey.
This ghostly crescent of sand
not asking for a name.
That's always the way, it seems.
Set sights on one place, find another,
then reckon,
or fail to.

With my back to the four story facade,
no high sun casting shadow,
it is still a virgin sea
rousing virgin shore,
elements undiscovered
except to each other, endlessly.

Beneath the scene,
the anxious dunes are losing ground.
But now, in windless dawn
and still dreaming surf,
they sprawl ancient and valiant,

In the catholic view,
only I am waiting to be found.

3 April 2015

Book of Hours

The retrospective of my life's loves
is likely to reveal:
a coarse forgotten tug from virginity,
the still smoldering mass
of locomotive steel from the head on,
a raging river of near misses,
and now you, like Norwegian winter,
full dark waiting
before the noon hour.

Speaking of extreme north,
there is also, you know,
the distress of summer,
the unrelenting sun
seizing vigils and vespers,
the blinding dominion of all lauds.

The greater part of our mystery
and disassembling,
that delicious release
of bone from muscle and mind from matter,
crammed into two hours
of desperate dark.

I can't say I'd rather.