Turn To Dust (1997)
What twist of fate has turned my life upside-down,
Is it irony that has stricken me so?
Who is this jester playing this cruel joke on me?
Is it some game of chance, that I’m destined to play?
Too contrive, connive, convince all is my right.
To be, to breath, to love, to feel passion
Stay for a moment
Stay for the night.
Stay throughout my life.
Your touch, your warmth, in quiet, in each other's arms.
Arms too strong.
I would hold you forever,
I could not hold on for long.
You turned to dust and fell through my fears.
Your dust moistened by only my tears.
Thoughts from 1997
Oh, cruel black widow why do you taunt me?
I'm hopelessly stuck in you web.
You're waiting for me to weaken, then you'll strike,
Pausing, just long enough to say, "Yet another!".
Your smile, like the sun, rises above the distant horizon.
As it climbs, warmth stirs the air around me.
The clouds, carried aloft, move and change,
Like the expressions of your face.
In awe, I watch them, this changing face.
And marvel at its beauty.
As the sun sinks below the horizon,
And the stillness of night, is ushered in, I'm not without light.
For your eyes are the stars, and their twinkle sparks my night.
In a slow whirling motion our bodies moved as one.
To a rhythm deeper than the bands melody.
My gaze transfixed by the sparkle in your eyes,
And makes me blind to all the din.
The only sound that mattered is your gentle voice,
As it carries quiet truths.
I'll always remember each word you speak.
And that smile you choose to share.
Of all these memories, that I'll treasure the most,
Is the warmth and tenderness of your embrace.
With the timidness of youth we shy from opportunity.
With maturity opportunities are few and resistance too great.
In old age opportunities are the memories of what might have been.
So find strength to see through the shyness of today.
Stay resolved to ward off resistance.
And take solace in knowing, you've lived your dreams,
Or at least put them to rest.
Silently the epitaph reads...
In wisdom we are poor.
In turmoil we are rich.
In death we are silent.
Flotsam or Jetsam
Like a kid I threw the drift wood out to sea. I thought, if it would return we will be united. If it floats out into the ocean you would be lost to me forever. I walked along the shore, following the seeming meandering of the surf. Flotsam or Jetsam. Love or lost. What would this symbolic kid's gesture yield? "She loves me, she loves me not," where is the daisy. Where will this lead? A wave pushed the log almost within reach. Then it receded and the log teasingly inched away. I followed along the shore. Would the sea release my heart or would it carry the log to its icy chamber. Another large swell and the log drew near. Almost within reach just an inch more. I jumped into the surf. My sneakers became wet, but I got the log. I threw it far above the high water mark. The log was safe from the sea. It counts just the same--doesn't it.
A mere mention of her name visits me with memories and wishful dreams. During these short spring weeks I have reviled and reeled in emotions stronger than any I have every felt. I have realized that my existence revolves around her and when she's not present my life has no center--no focus. I am like a lifeless celestial body traveling through the dark matter of space but I have no direction. I'm not bound by any force of nature. I have mass and inertia so I pass through the cosmos by distant binary stars that shine brightly together. I imagine the birth of stars at the galaxy's nucleus where mass and gravity work together creating the miracle of life. I see the death throws of old stars blinking out of existence. I've even witnessed the glorious end to a massive star, a nova, but when I've looked after it's passing I've seen new life, built from the matter of its parent.
I hear no sounds in space. I can not touch, smell, or taste these stars. I can only look from afar and hope that one day I'll be captured by their gravity, then I'll have a home, some star of my own to revolve around.
The beach's white silica sands stretch on for miles, from the noisy confusion of the carnival, to the calm tranquility of the breakwater. Early spring storms surged high onto the beach depositing a ribbon of seaweed. Lining the dunes are signs telling of the value of dune grasses. They are the binding force that holds the dunes together from the erosional affects of wind and wave. These grasses provide shelter to countless birds. Here these birds nest and raise their progeny reasonably safe from predation, but never secure from the sea.
Down from the dunes the deep sand begins. This section acts as a busy median strip that separates life from the dune, with the life at sea. It is a busy place where late night turtles trudge to lay their eggs, and flies feast on the bounty of seaweed. Here people spread their beach blankets and race down to the sea.
People populate the beaches too. In this world filled with people there are few places where we can live harmoniously with nature. On the beach, whether we're there to play or just to relax, we have fewer demands and expectations so we ask less of our surroundings, and the environment of the beach remains unchanged.
Don't look too closely; this is an idealist view. Moment by moment, wave by wave, the sea renews the beach. Look behind you at those footsteps that snake outside the breaking surf. Watch for long and they’ll be gone, washed away by the sea. On the beach, the primordial beach, ancient as the world itself, life began. Tidal waters were filled with a broth, then warmed by the sun, and carefully stirred by an invisible hand, creating life. Single cellular plants populated the sea reacting with the sun and producing oxygen. In the wink of a cosmic eye our planet aged, evolution played pinball and humans walked this primordial beach. Our fingers and opposable thumb possess the power of destruction but also creation. We too can live in harmony with the sea.
Mountains are grown and then they erode. Quantities of various compounds change in our air. Rain water can even be used as a defoliant. The sea remains. It's surface seemingly intractable, resilient to humanity's forgetfulness. Don't look to close, humanity, don't look below the surface. Generations are responsible to the sea, for dumping our garbage and pouring our chemicals. On the surface the sea is constant. It caresses the beach as it always had, arranging granule and pebbles to some higher design. It brings to the shore jellyfish, seaweed, and kelp. Here they've come to rest. From far off places they've drifted on the whims of the sea and wind. Here they now lie, at our feet, ready for our inspection.
Pick it up, become a child again. Is it a marble or a jellyfish? It's a perfect sphere, spongy to the touch, filled with a myriad of tiny bubbles. It feels tacky, but remove your fingers and they remain dry--inexplicable life, a gift from the sea.
The late afternoon sun warms the air and people walk the beach. Teenagers are playing hacky sack. They're laughing and cajoling among friends. A young couple walks by, arm and arm, with eyes transfixed and deep in conversation they're not observing the gifts from the sea. But their gift is just as valuable--the gift of love. Further up the beach a young family plays toss. The father gently lofts the ball to his son. He offers encouragement to the young boy when the ball drops to the surf. He applauds the boy when the return throw is right on. The mother and daughter stoop to pick up shells. They're learning from the gifts of the sea.
Walking quickly by is a different couple. A silver haired man in his late 60's and a young woman in her early twenties. They look like grandfather and granddaughter, She having returned from college, he wanting to catch up on her life. She has met a boy, a young man. He's interested in the same things, they enjoy each other's company, and he's really cute. She hopes they will be married. The silver haired man is wise and suggests that she not rush into anything. She hears him and still knows the truth--intuitively not analytically he is her one true love.
At the extremity of the beach is a boulder breakwater projecting out into the sea. It protects the channel beyond and the boats bobbing on their moorings. Standing on the furthest most boulder is a lone man looking out across the expanse. In his eyes are tears of loss and longing, guilt and hope, confusion and desire. The wind is blowing strongly now and he fastens the hood of his sweatshirt.
As he ponders the sea several geese race by, a foot above the waves. They seem to be playing a game of chicken. Who dares to fly closest to the waves? A mistake, a miscommunication, and one or more of them will crash into the sea. They're not playing for keeps. They will take to flight again. The man on the breakwater may not.
Along the beach is a volleyball net that the sun has just set beyond, no more games will be played on this beach today, and the people must be moving on. To the East the curtain of night draws closed, darkness is all about. Still distant flashes of light are seen, from lighthouses or buoys at sea.
She's a whirlwind, because nothing about her stands still, and no one she approaches stands unruffled. Like a tornado she materializes from converging air masses and sucks up everything in her path. Most things in her way end up in a jumble. Miraculously some things are set back neatly in their place. I'm still several thousand feet high held in the center of this vortex. I'm just waiting to see what will happen to me.
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