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Her Island (Father Tide)

'Water keeps its horrors
 while sky proclaims his,
 hangs them in stars.'

              - Rita Dove


An old man who owns this place,
thinks he does, looks out from here
as I approach in reunion.
He appears not to remember me,
remember us -- my hand dwarfed by his;
sweating into his great husk
shelled of all proliferation
among the shore debris.
 
                   *

Among the shore debris
a morbidity of tides is dumped
in a final throe --
a last soprano tremble
that reaches for something more
than a revisiting of its pulsing hot past.
He smiles in wrinkles
as blue eyes, swimming
gaze in superfluous words at me
from under a white, crepey hat.

                   *

Caught in his gaze,
I stroll and saunter along
the beach.  Sunken cities are
mute in the distance
and will never reveal their ruin;
they keep it inside as I keep him inside
under stony, closed ground.

                     *

Under stony, closed ground,
nothing moves or clatters
as here, in the still air where fog
settles and makes a home
in a place far from Heaven --
nothing will make a line of tangent
off its great circle and overtake the rocks
rising in prominent columns.

                    *

Rising in prominent columns
I will see him there --
he who won't remember me;
his ring of keys rusty, the lock
enshrined somewhere in this
heavy saline atmosphere.
His manner of inquisition
will walk at my side searching for
the remains he hid one summer
so long ago.

                      *

So long ago, a temple
stood around these parts
hiding a hidden stash of
some great civilization
now under deep pools
reflecting windswept trees.
We meander around,
the black water unchanged by
our perspective.

                    *

Unchanged by our perspective,
we gaze wistfully into the island's center;
the wild mother,
root of all uprisings.  The great father sighs,
drops his hands as birds ring out.
Her tiny ones are leaving --
abandoning this sweetness for
some new decay.  
The old man nods at me,
shrinking into a phantom wave.

                    .....

PoetsRevenge
Written by PoetsRevenge
Published
Author's Note
Inspired by the poetry of Rita Dove and written for the Sonata Mulattica comp. Quote is from 'Her Island'.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/browse?volume=166&issue=2&page=5
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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