Friday, May 5, 1989

WILDCAT BEACH, BELTAINE 5/5/89



Wildcat Beach, Beltaine Silk & dye.



WILDCAT BEACH, BELTAINE
                                — for my students Nat & Erik


At Wildcat Beach I fill pockets with wax opals,
agates and moonstones—pieces of the fallen moon.
Five vultures wheel in a bright sky vibrating
against ruddy cliffs. The ocean eats the strand,
the night eats the sun. We lose track of time.
I point out equus, horsetail fern, ancestor of trees
when the dinosaurs were young. I despair:
so little time to teach the children about life cycles.

I yell at those who want to quit right in the middle of the road—
Five miles is forever. I feel like an ogre yelling at them.
Coddling won't do. No, that’s not it. I was never coddled.
So I tousle their heads, repack packs, clean skinned knees,
offer advice, feed them chocolate—these children I never had—
I am mother without being mother, father without having had one.
It's always a longer walk back, no matter what they say.

I am teacher. I am poet incanting words into true air.
We make a medicine wheel, divide into the four elements,
and writie poetry to the cardinal directions.
One crow commuting up the beach nods to me in flight.
On this side of the San Andreas Fault,
I come to understand the rest is illusion:
Those old generals who set the Gulf ablaze with oil
their dreams are cursed by flames of blue eels
writhing in shallow pools. Fire over water.

I dreamed Easter Island was a mathematical equation of the mind.
Two boys and I sit on the bluffs talking of neutron stars
and the desire for a simple life filled with ritual.
We watch a bonfire blaze on the opposite shore.
Nat says everything has a spirit—even that lupine bush.
They restore my faith, like the white deer who browse
beneath the stars. Recognizing an absence of ritual
in our lives, we seek something unbidden in the moonlight,
in the water and in the ancient eyes of fish.


5/5/89

1992 Shaman's Drum
1989 Night Full of Doves
         Green Fuse


WILDCAT BEACH, BELTAINE



                                       for Nat & Erik



At Wildcat Beach, my pockets fill with wax opals,

agates and moonstonesórare pieces of the fallen moon.

The waterfall at the end of the mind spills over
slate terraces laid down when the earth was new.
Five vultures wheel in a sky that vibrates
against orange cliff. The ocean eats the strand,
the night eats the sun. I'm losing track of time.
I point out equus, horsetail fern, ancestor of trees
when the dinosaurs were young. I despair,
so little time to teach the children about the life cycles.
I yell at those who want to quit right in the middle of the roadó
six miles is forever. I feel like an ogre yelling at them.
Coddling won't do. OK, that's bullshit. I was never coddled.
So I tousle their heads, repack packs, clean skinned knees,
offer advice, feed them chocolateóthese children I never hadó
I am mother without being mother, father without having had one.
It's always a longer walk back, no matter what they say.
I am teacher. I am poet incanting words into pure air.
We make a medicine wheel and divide into the four elements,
writing poetry to the cardinal directions.
One crow commuting along the beach nods to me in flight.
On this side of the San Andreas Fault,
I come to understand, slowly, the rest is illusion:
those old men setting the water ablaze with gasoline
who watch the silver-blue fish, with heads buried
like bulbs, their slender eel-tails seeking light,
writhe and twist in shallow pools. Fire over water.
I dreamed Easter Island was a mathematical equation of the mind.
Two boys and I sit on the bluffs talking of black holes
and the desire for a more simple life filled with ritual.
We watch a huge bonfire blaze on the opposite shore.
Nat says everything has a spiritóeven that lupine bush.
They restore my faith, like the white deer who browse
beneath the stars. Recognizing an absence of ritual
in our lives, we seek something unbidden in the moonlight,
in the water and in the ancient eyes of fish.


5/5/89


See an earlier version
MOONSTONES

Related posts:
White Deer
Huckleberries





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