embracing what may be

marching eagerly she assaults the sea
like a proud eight-year-old warrior
intent on the mightiest conquest,
her tender tiny fists clenched
in brazenly hopeful defiance
cursing the world weary waves

on and on they roll relentless
in their time indifferent course
obeying a lusty lunar deity
rising so unlike her ancient solar
form flesh desiccating master
the pitiless all-seeing sun

see how newborn Ramesses she
stands boldly alone against
the terrible Hittite hordes
on the bloody plains of Qadesh
casting pebbles into legions
that undulate with her pleasure

but surely sleekly simple stones
are not enough, she must see
not enough are they the waves
to defeat as if mere feeble foes.
no, she must now turn back
the very onslaught she endures

and as I grinning whimsical watch
my daughter’s so daring feats
I see waves about her begin to roil
as she seething flings her arms
back and forth seeking to force
the very tide to retreat before her

and I am in awe of this undaunted she
as an expiring voice meekly argues,
waste not your effort, silly dear.
but I silence this fool quickly indeed
for I would not have her cease
her efforts for any of his truths

she generous endows mellowed me
with vivacious visions of life
enabling me too to see as she
to embrace such distant maybes
rather than bow before austerity
and each moldering maturely no

and this being so…

why should I bow before expectations
not impartially imposed by others
and my life bend theirs to follow?
so that thus may I be acknowledged
a decent man like any of my lot
who are also unlikely to disappoint?

or dare I court nonconformity
casting slippery stones at sullen seas
shedding skins of scaly wisdom
and love embrace, though my beloved
I may not touch for an hour yet
or a day or even forty days hence?

purposeful I step along the shore
and raise my arms to assist her
confidently knowing that it is not
those easily attainable goals we seek
that do compose the nature of us
and establish truly who we are

rather in our finest moments
are we the spirits of flesh seeking
one another despite expectation,
self-composed of ideals and needs
and striving for what most futile seems—
it is these impossibilities that define us

Çeşme, Turkey 05 July 2012

Asena laughing and playing against the waves

10 thoughts on “embracing what may be

    • Thank you, thank you, Susan. Sometimes I think I am just spoiled — to have such wonderful people in my life, each of whom teaches me lessons of such great value: a woman of such vision whom I love, a daughter I cherish, a father I so deeply admire. Could life be any grander than this, I wonder?


  1. and you give her such strength to live again,to breathe again. Gorgeously penned, George.
    You have a way to express the intricate life, delivering compassion and faith in other’s life. 🙂
    and while you are in Turkey, I hope you are blessing your feet to wander around the town.


  2. Absolutely, Pawan — I wander as far as my feet may take me, in fact. There is always so much more to explore. I feel so much closer to the earth here and to people of the soil, people from the heart of nature. This country is changing, moving unfortunately in directions tempted by their exposure to the lifestyles of wealthier nations. I lament this change. I spoke with a man today who remembers when he was a boy, living in a village nearby, and his father, a poor farmer, would say, “Son, I wonder if there might be a stranger in our village today. Let’s go see if we can find him, bring him back here, share a meal with him.” Do you remember, Pawan, this sense of what life was supposed to be like? Before the goal of existence became wealth? I’m sure you do, as I know that your heart reaches far beyond the desire for material riches. I love to be here, my friend, and I am saddened to see how things change.


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