an arrogant voice
incautiously piloted
this time-worn vessel
over most ambivalent
and turgid seas

sails grew angrily thin
while decks bowed
beneath the weight
of my hopelessly
misguided ambitions

no errant astrolabe
no compass contained
conducted my journey
beyond lonesome leagues
and indolent shores

i was the captain
of a pointless sorrow
i, the outraged hero
petulant and petty
to a remarkable fault

until the waters calmed
and the moon rose
casting a hopeful light
across the obsidian
world beneath me

and in each sparkle
in each tiny timid glow
trembling over the sea
i perceived something new
something brilliant

for you have illuminated
my darkening world
deftly lighting me true
to a life i had never
really known before

in your love, you see
am i resurgent, embracing
a hope and a laughing joy
once immensely distant
and utterly foreign to me

in your love
at long last
i am home


open seas

as the waves rose ever higher
i grasped the tiller hard and fast
and searched the waters behind
scanned the horizon beyond
apprehensive of what lay ahead
knowing no more of what awaited me
but only keenly feeling the fear
that clawed at my calloused skin
this angrily aching aging shell
of fury and doubt and distrust
that has so long imprisoned
my fervently frustrated soul

such is the make of a man unrefined
the mark of a man undefined
by clear and conscious reflection
that he would lean then on the tiller
and strive his vessel to return
as swiftly as may be to the haven
of his all too familiar native port
so far short of the goals he desired
of that to which he in earnest aspired
before the grasping need of years
before the deftly growing fears
his heart had cowardly overtaken

yet hearing then the voice of the wind
feeling then the outstretched limb
of time’s so fateful trembling
of time’s insatiable dissembling
pretending at truths beyond nature
preening colors grown too bold
by the coldly demeaning stature
of solitude and sorrow and death,
i stayed the course that i had chosen
craving the hope that dearest love
had to my soul imparted and never—
never will i look back again


when the sea grows calm
shall ye ken me true by
the sweet breeze whistling
streams of green and blue
and the hues of longing
embraced by the eternal

heed then the braw laird
of heaven high whose sigh
ignites the flames of man
in flesh and hearty gallus
the ballast sure and steady
waves afloat shall ye ride

and yet abide as time allows
one call at least betimes
to these far shores where i
shall await thy coming
having transcended hope
to be all and one in you

Salt Lake City 13 Oct 2012

2012.07.22 Ovacık 006

Sunset along the shore of Çeşme, Türkiye

my love and the sea

how trembling this reflection now
as i too timid these steps do take
while you lap gently at my flesh

do you recall now how ages past
my breath you did endeavor to steal,
the beating of my heart to cease?

yet i survived and did return to you
your so sensual favors to court
and somehow earn your affections

you have been a home to me
a sanctuary from that all too concrete
world of lurid and angry ambition

when embryonic you did cradle me
in my youth you did enslave me
and fully grown you did my soul caress

why now then do you look upon me
as one whose like you have never beheld
a stranger whose touch means nothing?

ah yes, i see, grasping at long last
the message you so oft sought to convey
to a soul too lethargic to comprehend

i do not belong here, do i, not here–
in your reflections i do a world perceive
far from here, far from now and this

and you have wisely known all along
while i was too blind to see such truth
too crass such wonders to sense

i do not belong to this time this place,
but a land there is indeed and there
i will at last know our precious home

there i will know this perfect we

Salt Lake City 09 Aug 2012

in this cove

just over there is a quiet cove
a crescent of sand and stone
surrounding blue the waves
that gently tug at its edges
sweeping pebble after pebble
into its deep watery embrace

day after day hour after hour
i sat there and thought of you
longing to breathless wander
your so sensual curvings
my tongue tracing tender the
path of your entwinèd spine

unbeheld would i the warmth
of you, your cradling core so
secretly touch beneath these
conspiring waves unheeding
kneading rhythmic your flesh
that desires mine to enfold

sketch just here, beloved,
the telling lines of my face
that wears this adoration like
the fiery flush that burning
follows this impending pulse
piercing the center of you

release your rising self unto me
as i rooted hold us to the earth
my feet buried in ageless sand
my hands exploring the mesh
that fleshes you enchanting
glistening Nereid of the sea

clutch me trembling against you
my lips caressing ever yours
tasting the salt that drips you
testing the depths of this rapture
that only your quickened breath
my once hardened heart inspires

Çeşme, Turkey 29 July 2012

Along the coast of Çatal Azmak, Çeşme

your lips

bequeath unto beggar me this most tender of treasures
and I shall you a message convey by Amphitrite’s grace—

have you noted how the industrious seamstress of the seas
weaves wisdom and wonder into the same delicate fabric?

imbibe you sweetly line by line this simple truth, my love
and of a certainty beyond revelation may you this know:

that the Infinite has longed for just such lips as yours
to bid the waves to rise with but a single hungry kiss…

Çanakkale, Turkey 21 July 2012

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