poetry upon water

your words ripple
effortlessly across
my soul soothing
wounds left too long
unhealed and seething
bloody anguish
glistening until
the next wave rolls in
releasing me from
an angry past
at last, aye, at last
serenity cleansing
my all too eager
profanity preferring
instead to lay my
head upon these sands
and allow your words
to wash over me
once more like
poetry upon water

[gratefully inspired by the humbly brilliant David ben Alexander at https://skepticskaddish.com/2021/03/05/twitter-poetry-2021-week-9/ ]

Enjoying the sand and waves just down the hill from where I once lived in Turkey (2011).


Our bare limbs stretch across the sands
Desperate for distant Isis to return
As the great burning orb glares
At a land all too eager to breath once more

The servants of Maat, wills reviving
Daintily dip their shaven heads
Heavy words falling quickly from their lips
As one by one they approach the shore

“Rise!” the God our King commands
“Rise!” He proclaims as He casts
His declaration into the shallow Nile
His face stern as temple stone

And we – we the weary farmers
We the wary watchers, the mindful merchants
We the obedient slaves, the sullen soldiers
A thousand thousand of us, waiting

As one we watch the papyrus command
Float over the sluggish blood of Egypt
The Nile River from which all life comes
The heart of our once great land

We watch, we wait, praying for the waters to return
And despite my fear, I dare to look
Upon our King, son of the son of Ra
Who gazes ever heavenward, stolid, true

From bended knee I look upon him and wonder
As his hands begin to tremble and his eyes close
For the water refuses to rise beneath the angry sun
And the land grows drier and drier still

With a sharp glance at his High Priest
Our King turns away and begins his ascent
While my children, hungry and scared, look to me
“It’s alright,” I say, “we’ll try again tomorrow.”

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