random prayer

You are the keystone and the axis
pole of salt becoming word
In thunder speak,
and silence
Bowl of rice and empty road

In our courage seek to praise you
nostrils wide with ranging smell
Sting of camphor,
holy Name
sounding bell

Report from Cutler, Maine, October 1997

Salt shore,
where the seaweed grows,
and the tide kneads life

Evening gulls’
squawking fades and falters,
and the gulping crows
        revise their last oration.

Little mussels nestle
into curves of soft
green mud,
borrowing space
        from        some        stones.

And a lobster laughs
and a cormorant
follows his fish


City, scrape, truck.
Sick surplus.
Rush return to restless wait.
Back again in nexus.

This desert, flesh
rehearsing sermons,
pockmarked shield of mirrors.

Inside, the roaring
tide is pounding, pulling,
pounding at the future.
Remember something
calming, mussels,

Fire Island, July 1997

I left myself on the beach,
with towels and shoes, a book, lemonade
it is all behind me, back on the beach
here I am only light,
or sand, lightly salted,
and water
I am waving, and each wave
only kind of repeats

this strange salt pungence in my nostrils
too long dulled by cab coughs
and uncurbed dogs
reminds me of my breathing
and it is waving
with a cresting anticipation
of intake
and a booming exhalation

some waves find relief
on the land
and it strikes me
that the place of waves
is a place of shifting
promises between
the kingdoms of land and sea
and like me
traces the shiver
of extremes for awhile

but, lemonade,
the scent of coconut on a magazine