{19 July 2018}

For Nora.

There are some moments that write themselves
Into a poem by their very occurrence.

The sunrise, for instance.
The air still light with the moon’s chill.
The waking watchers waiting on the rocks and
The blanket over their feet.
The man and his dog panting into the water.
The singular, lucid moment when finally
Once again the Sun slides above the sea.

There are moments such as these:
When you move your body in a dance,
The way it was made to move from the
Very moment you rose from the primordial water.

There are such moments as these that write themselves
Simply by occurring, that write themselves
To tell you what your eyes have forgotten.

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{The Coming}

This is the way the sun comes up over the Indian Ocean:

A painting erupts
out of the long darkness
of a Kenyan night.
The clouds wait for the sun like
disciples who wait for the Coming.
They face due east, their edges slowly, slowly
turning white then orange with anticipation.

The birds, small white and black creatures,
flit over the low ocean, flipping and diving and flying as if
escaping a monster that has long since given up.

The sand — coarse and forgiving, “a pearly rubble” —
slopes down toward the ever reaching fingers of the waves.

The crabs scuttle back and forth, carefully
and methodically digging a temporary home for themselves,
knowing that the waves will come again and again.
Their eyes are attentive and their legs quick.

The palm trees lean toward the sea.
Always rejoicing, they offer their branches
in celebration.

The baobab tree stands in the shadow
of its own branches, the leaves dark green.
Grandparent of the ages, it is
playground and home to the monkeys.

What I’m saying is this:
We have been made as alive as the
ocean and clouds and sand and crabs
and palm trees and the baobab and monkeys.

You, too, are waiting.
You, too, belong here.

{A Story of Birds}

For high above, flew the cranes

I wonder what ancient star song lays
rolled like a message in the bottle of their hollow bones
that moves forward their dinosaur bodies.
Probably hunger or thirst or fear.

And down below, we walked

Muley said that the hunted cannot be strong,
only fierce.
The egrets, small creatures with yellow legs
and feathers that seem an impossible white,
peck and jab at the sand, hunting.
I think maybe their hunted,
the tiny, muscular sand fleas,
are strong, and willing.

But it’s unfathomable, really.
Time and sand and death
and birds and all.

{28 January 2018}

Before the beach, my migraine digs a hole into the folds of my brain.
It sits like a storm cloud in front of my eyes.
It twists the muscles of my back and neck into tightly bound rope.
Words fall out of my mouth like splintered wood into people’s palms.


Now, the cloud has disappeared.
The ropes have loosened.
Do these words feel like sand papered birds to you, too?


The cold sea water I walk in barely covers the veins of my feet.
I hold in my hands small tokens of the ocean’s generosity:
a rock, reddish brown with one almost perfectly formed right corner,
a shard of a blue shell with rough edges and small holes.
I clutch them in my fist;
they feel a little like the absent minded grip of a friend’s hand.


What would it be like to live in the assurance of our brokenness?
I mean:
What would it be like if we didn’t look for our missing pieces?
What if we made a home of this cracked vessel?

{26 October 2017}

At the beach today, we bury two animals.

One, a sea slug, we think, or a kind of sea cucumber.
We gather arounds its body resting in a wet sand grave.
We marvel at its anatomy, turning it over and prodding it
Gently with a piece of driftwood.
As we cover it with sand, seaweed, and small rocks,
We sing a song of blessing:

I behold you beautiful one,
I behold you child of the earth and sun,
Let our love wash over you,
Let our love wash over you.

Two, along the bottom of the cliffs facing the ocean, a small possum.
Nestled in the cracks of the soft sandstone,
He looks like he died in the middle of a dream,
His long, thin snout in the air, still smelling the salty air,
I imagine, — when do the cells stop processing information?
We cover him in stones, and I sing the
Song silently over his body.

I behold you beautiful one,
I behold you child of the earth and sun,
Let my love wash over you,
Let my love wash over you.

Later, we gather shells and seaweed and rocks and sea glass
And crab legs and drift wood
Along the edge of the water,
Ocean gifts running here and there in the tide.
We display them on the sand,
A ‘touch-see-and-feel’ museum.

Seaweed dries in tangled piles on the beach.
As we approach, small flies burst into the air,
Our presence disrupting their feeding attention.
They live off the dying, drying seaweed.
We carry bunches in our hands back to the driftwood fort,
Decorating the entrance.

We play with the sea like a long-lost sister.
Jumping and crashing our bodies into the waves,
The water carries us out and back in.
The gifts, shells and driftwood,
Who knows how long she has carried them.

The sun is shining today.
What more could we wish for?