he met a force
it held him
... and wonder drained the world of substance
re-arranged the pages of his book to give more radiant a reading.
The light of new possibilities
pressed down on time.
The girl sang to him "You can hear the boats go by". He
learned her mystery
and destiny understood his loss.
She read "Man is condemned to be free". And he
knew his responsibilities
but flew with her wings
... he spoke of peace and joy; saw the wonder
of his destiny
The Daemons frowned on them
and, remembering meaning,
sought to divide
... wiser, she saw another future; tasted their bitter gall
and vanquished all.
Peace came with distance. Fal smiled on them.
when senses knew only a single silent bell
"Worship is transcendent wonder"
and as they rose above the surf
the gulls, and time itself, stilled: mute and 'mazed at
the clear karma of their love.
He devoured her mind; she drank his soul.
The river becomes the sea
the tide welcomes its waters,
and it is content.
She drank at his well; was intoxicated by his spirit
her gaze danced to his will
his future was written in her eyes.
Later, the dark sands kept their secret:
she wrote her love on his soul
he read her script and was lost
The night sea whispered
When you see such passion in her eyes
it's time to leave port
the old sailor said
he became the high candle around which she flew
the tabernacle in which she dwelt:
she was the centre of his being
and all that he knew. The cedars whispered,
the unicorns knelt and bowed their heads
and Albina - she of the dawn, protector of ill-fated lovers -
watched over them.
"Your body travels with me; your blood flows in my veins"
For the sway of his calling held him
and on many days small partings disturbed them;
He did not leave her: only his body was absent awhile.
She held his mind in thrall to her love
to the west the profane skills of the sea held him;
at each easting his very being was uplifted by her:
she was his guru
It was as if eternity was theirs among the southern cedars
But even heaven knows a world beyond.
He could only guess
at her strength.
For Llŷr called from the West, Eingana beckoned
He was a thing of the sea and parting was ordained:
he must forever navigate old horizons
She - for all her vision - could not see beyond the shore
the possibility of an orbit
where umbral time is released by light
long days on that higher plane eclipse longer darker time
in earthly solitude
her body calls out for understanding
and cries out...
He is torn
but his odyssey is decreed:
His ship awaits - the very seas wait to welcome him back.
His earthly gods demand their due.
The ghost of blind Teiresias prophesied, "... you ask about your sweet homecoming, but the god will make it a bitter journey. I think you will not escape Poseidon, the Earth Shaker, who is angered at heart against you... Even so, though you shall suffer you and your friends may yet reach home... when you have escaped the dark blue sea...think only of your homeward course"
But Teiresias - for all his vision - could not see beyond the shore
or divine the suffering visited on this mortal man's Penelope.
The night that has passed can never return:
the sea quenches all.
Cruel parting after such passion
O woman left behind!
Of steel, rivets: deck, bridge, hull and keel:
Fore and aft, moored tight to her
Cargo holds: soon filled
Cabins! One cabin she knows so well!
Bearing him away
Of charts and night watches
Scanning horizons: navigating so many seas
Do you dream of her? Pine?
Touch her in your dreams?
O woman left behind
You can only pray...
It is easier to sail away than be left at home!
She could not hear his voice
Time stands still while his letters speak only from the past:
write to the future and read of the past
how do you talk when every penned sentence and its answer
must crawl so far?
you in me in you
Time is dammed in its hourglass: the stubborn sand
will not fall
she sees him drifting never nearer: a world away
but she sees nothing!
she cannot touch his body
she cannot feel his soul
she cannot sense his mind
On long southern seas beside the slow gliding albatross,
it seems he too is burdened to drift these cold waters eternally;
time passes, but in passing still leaves its stubborn sands behind.
Home has never seemed so far.
he sees her face in everything, at every turn
her voice whispers
And - because it is so ordained - once again
the great ship slides gently up her river
the lovers are joined and... again... the cedars bow over them.
But then, but then
Must he, a sea-bound Sisyphus for ever reach with her the height
- so brief a crest - again to drift down in the spume
to sea to crest sea's surge again, again; nor
back to the pebbled shore
beneath the pier?
Can either he or she withstand the tide's eternal wash?
As to the watch a distant mast glim in the empty sea
As on the empty horizon an island speck appears
As in the night a breath touches his skin
So he became aware.
the waves stretched out towards her and cirrus painted the way
in his mind he held her
her arms enfolded his being, her body welcomed and
his late compass calmed their seas:
Their union had always been inevitable
And as again the land held him, she shared his joy...
the very land - each simplest sight: meadow, grove and stream
seemed dressed in brighter light
the flinty shore, the chalky downs sang with them
Old Ælle rejoiced
Time and the world was theirs alone.
The Daemons still frowned:
sensing a different division,
their power diminishing
Lace dressed she came to him
The waxy blooms she held seemed eternal
Her body is the ocean and every wave returns
an echo of the vow. The churchyard trees hold the sound
and the wind carries it forever:
on its breath their love will always sing
They are alone!
So short a time is left,
her arms held him her body rejoiced she blessed his body
his arms warmed her his eyes wept for her love
he held her like a raft she held them afloat
So few days joined and they - who might then have then been rent
apart - saw a further heaven ope:
his lonely watch, her desolate vigil conjoined
to cross the seas companioned
his lonely cabin cell now lighted, soul lifted
his time now speeds - the sands not held
Above day's depthless deep unbounded sea
and under many a star at night
she sees the distant blue the faint horizon round
the dolphin cleft wave at the bow the still albatross on station
sea-changing fog and mighty storms, Eingana's distant shores
and understands their siren call
Tasting the sea brine, hearing the ship's noise
Swept by passing airs, dampened by blind fog
Stranger to the southern stars, guest of warmer seas
Lost to all she has known, hull cloistered
By day, by night he keeps his watch
and marks their time
else, he wonders at their bounty, revels in their bliss
embraces their time
But now his ship has voyaged too soon (would he had restrained its
course): one long year is ended
three departures and three homecomings mark the time
all things pass, her seat of learning calls
He cannot bear to leave
He knows she will struggle to write. Alone, he sees her weep
she yearns for his arms; her books no longer talk to her -
he is her text she reads his body repeatedly but
finds no sense. Alone, bereft,
she knows no shore
Where both had sailed, he sails alone. Adrift, his mind can only see
the currents of her sea: her body is his ocean
her mind his distant shore. He plots his course on her flesh
navigates his watch on her skin. He
When will he - pilot of the seas; helmsman of his destiny - return
his heart to homely Hestia's domain?
cross limen: see parlor, range and crib again?
oceans crossed, is he securely docked within the cove, or
can tide's ebb drag him hence?
Only the Moirai know.
He will remember his summer homecoming:
The joy, the uncharted waters of surprise
The warm sun on the door, the bees in the honeysuckle.
She held him close and at arm's length, examined his smile
Understood his passion:
he would never leave; the sea had let him go.
And now their life was compassed by a closer horizon
Hid from the old world, the larch watched over them.
Behind cattle sheds lost to sight
Walled with borrowed summer stone
bounded by alder, beech and thorn
Their new haven held their hearts
no pilot would ease a seaward passage from his land
this Elysian field where life is good to man
Ceredig's land became their home...
Arianrhod seemed to smile on them:
And the home became fruitful
Their time was blessed
Their home, the cottage, the old farm
by day its land fed them
at night its old roof creaked and rustled
as if the mice were busy too
Through tens of years their roots sank deep
Winter's bitter winds and Summer's softer edge
Strengthened their kinship with the land
The peace of its earth and space held them
its embrace enclosed them
the only place they wished to know
But in that Spring
some tree, a field seemed somehow less
the hint of something passing
She read "It is not now as it hath been of yore"
and he learned a new mystery
and the Moirai understood his loss.
From that first love, that light which overcame the shades
is left the warmth of memory
These lines are legacy of
that heat which seared his mind and etched his soul
that love's dominion which held him
In the ashes of the fire there is a memory of the flame.