Sailing Off to Iona

Sailing off to Iona
the sails sound like
the jaggery old moans
of Bedlamites in the
gloaming, and the devil
in the yack of pink laughing.

Nothing made any sense suddenly,
and then I realized I’m going to
have to take the long
way across the water to get here.

This occurs
as I sit here and stare
at a picture I traced of
the shadows of leaves,
leaping,
jumping,
falling
falling
down
down.

I am the silent ripples on the water
made by dark silent
ships with no sailors
in the night. Blessings
flowing
away
flowing
away.

Measuring out the golden mile loops,
and contemplating
Fabianism and the Visigoths
(while never appropriate
are occasionally needed).

Saints and Soothsayers are glowing gold
and the steely mathematics
create a false catharsis, and sometimes
we are all blind among the pines.

So let me tell you this,
softly
and
gently,
there are stories
of pilots
who stared at their displays,
so busy studying their flight path
that they crashed into mountains
that they never saw.

I remember staring at the Mona Lisa
my eyes
moved her hair
not out of, but into her eyes,
I thought she looked better
like that, and this kind of thing
happens all the time
moving
around
moving
around
on
different
grounds.

So tonight I am a Holy Island missionary
sailing on the sea, like Ulysses once
I am gone who knows when I’ll return.

I’m stepping out and away, having dug
my faith out of the
cold
wet
ground
I am putting it back into my hands
and
magic wands- waving them
up to the sky, am I surrendering?

I’m reminded of a toast I drank
one night to an animal
whose blood
I had fallen in,
a long story
involving field
surgeons
and
impromptu meals,
and now I am that deer
running
half way
between
the forest
and
the fire.

Sails unfurled, the tide is out,
and I go – not knowing for how long,
just realize that the traffic
will one day turn to flowers,
and the roads will all again be dirt.

Right now in the dark, riding waves
I’m going to go meditate upon
standing delicate poems
on their sides, and what the
last
various
undone
poem looks like
in the
dark.

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4 thoughts on “Sailing Off to Iona

  1. Oh my word, I cannot stop swooning over your work. I am, in fact, feeling lightheaded over the discovery, and may never get another thing done in all my days, if you continue posting poems at such an impressive rate. I see your line breaks, my friend. Smart. All the “the/thee” lines are especially double-meaningful. Like this:

    “having dug
    my faith out of the”

    Your sound, throughout, is impeccable.

    Your clipped, often one-word, lines are effective at slowing down the reading, as well as adding layered meaning. Also, you know how to manipulate homophones, squeezing in extra meaning (as in “pines”).

    I’m sorry if this is getting to be an excessively long comment; I will tell you my favorite parts and then depart:

    “there are stories
    of pilots
    who stared at their displays,
    so busy studying their flight path
    that they crashed into mountains
    that they never saw”

    “my eyes
    moved her hair
    not out of, but into her eyes” … Second favorite section of the whole poem.

    “one night to an animal
    whose blood
    I had fallen in”

    And that ending. Man, that blows my mind. My absolute favorite part:

    “I’m going to go meditate upon
    standing delicate poems
    on their sides, and what the
    last
    various
    undone
    poem looks like
    in the
    dark.”

    Okay … I’m backing away slowly; the overly enthusiastic praise ends here. Sorry for going bonkers on you, dude. 🙂

  2. The notion ‘I am the silent ripples on the water’ ~ we all are – in each other lives…~ your poem sounds almost as legend of ministrales playing with music, rhythm patterns so delicate yet private reflection…thanks for sharing

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