Solitude

 

The lowering sun slits the clouds and light
gushes through the wound onto the far Pacific.
I know my work is with others, but I need this time
alone to remember our origin, to hear the hymns
   of human destiny tolling the sea waves.

Mammoth clouds move stealthily southward toward
the Big Sur ridges. Lobos lays low—natural haven
for the secret forces of night. The sea is roughened
by storm after storm, the beach eaten away
   by winter's voracity.

The pen is cold in my fingers and that crescent moon
won't leave me alone, touching me softly, intimately,
in the mirror-wet sand's reflection. Can I walk away
with the cool burning ember over my shoulder, dropped
   in the deep blue cove of the heavens?

Like moon and tide and the freshness in the sky
of the evening star's light is the miracle among all
   of us who hear and remember.

 

1976