On this ancient sea
Where even the medusas
Have turned to stone
And stone has invaded
The mollusk's house
Where stiff red breakers
Keep the silence
And the sea lilies are held
In a last graceful curve
Here, where the ocean is too old
To dance with the moon
Great ships lie stranded
For the deep, slow molten tides of earth
To lift them free
To Heaven I present a restless face,
Where I am near to Hell, ‘tis cool and calm.
To cuts I am a sting, to grief a balm,
I am a road but all tracks I erase,
I say hush, hush, yet I am never stilled,
I break, and break, and break, and yet am whole,
I reach and reach again, but have no goal,
Though all comes to me I am not filled.
I roar, I reach, I am not satisfied,
I pound great rocks to dust and chase the moon,
I dance tall ships and always call the tune,
I change with every wind, yet I abide,
For I birthed all that fly, or swim, or creep,
And I can rock a weary world to sleep.
WHAT WOULD THE TREE BE
What would the tree be without the kissing deer?
And the deer
Without the ardent wolf?
Slow as a slug
Would we recognize her?
Our mind’s edge
Was worked by the stubborn flint
Past and future
Were born in the moon that pulled our blood
The dreaming eye
Was shaped by the fire
That kept the wolf away
Without rock, tree, fire and moon
Without the wolf that sings to the moon
Without the dream of the running deer
Just who do we think we are?
air a thicket of buckbrush and manzanita and sage
then the sweet scent of ceanothus
heavy with humming
small, fuzzy, aerodynamically impossible bodies
wings beating, beating the heavy air
till it is stiff enough to hold them up
folding heat’s voice into the day
bakes under the summer sun
falls at four o’clock
when the fog comes in