The photo is of Gray Jacobik in Synge’s chair.


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Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage

Nothing to say to those who would vacate the mind
yet move more slowly than the moon after breakfast
as it lifts away from the sky. No trumpets, no tambourines,
only the hollow ache of a soul who yearns for God
and God can find him not, nor savor the taste of him.
In a time of farewells, soft with clandestine calculations,
no means exist to move beyond thinking, no way to get
outside of the outside-of, the fragrant lamp of sensation
that singes not. Ambrosial, that first touch on the first day
of new love’s making when anguish departs from bliss,
a severing absolute and immeasurable. Birds call
their distant cousins, so sing, and singing lift their spare
forms so high they touch the chaos of the myriad-handed,
the final designer of the cornucopian horn, the singer,
the day, whose vibrant sibilance weaves light with light.
The seer cannot see his losses. The monk who would
languish in his cell, stirs, stretches. The cave will not
enclose itself another day, nor fog contain its seeking.
Across the small pond, the goslings drag their paddle feet
amid honks and great flappings of ample wings. Bassoon
copies the song of lute, lute the song of piccolo, so vanishes
a place to return to. Seas have wearied of journeys. Ships
have sunk. Sailors drowned. The last strawman
has burned in a red blaze and the cap of fools descends
on the hundred heads of the unforgiven. The whole
submerges then re-emerges transfixed, and all that
great continuum of loneliness fades so quickly—death
could not come so quickly. To stride outside the mind
is to behold the mind and the fire that fuels the mind
in the wrack of the body’s best heat, the grace of its
last dance, place of one last kiss, trees ashimmer
in a polish of gold, mockingbirds and grackles
in a mad swirl, and sapphire evening in a blush of haze.

Clamming in Evening Light

At low tide, carrying baskets and rakes,
55555 clammers could wade out a hundred yards
as the shimmering reflections of pink clouds
55555 pooled around their bending bodies.

A young girl watched but never took part.
55555 She was sifting through all she knew
to shape an idea. Bay, sky, clouds and, cutting
55555 through the scene, sailboats thwacking

the wind, scooping light in their sails.
55555 Motion and color, a radiant charity
of air—sensations that touch every child
55555 at some point—and what a child

makes of them becomes remarkable,
55555 or becomes nothing . . . .
Beyond the clammers calm motions,
55555 the Chesapeake, pale blue bay

merging into paler sky; the sunlit
55555 cumulus tumbling northward.
She did not see a future, only the at-hand
55555 and immediate, a girl who wanted to love

and be of use, to find her place in the scheme
55555 of things. It took hundreds of
such solitary hours on the open beach
55555 to surmise the scope of what she was to do.