Monday, March 08, 2010

A rival Ocean

after the salt sea, another
sea, a sand sea, at last
the true sea—an other ocean,
arrived at after many voyages
across the seas of sand
rival oceans, other seas
some long absent, salt dwelling
in their ancient smooth beds
as runoff from the mountains
surrounding; still others
where sand waves move slow
across, grains wind-moved
slow relentless almost silent;
and the sea in our blood
same salt, same mineral lust
same waters of ancient birth
the sea we carry with us, within
the sea always arriving in us
uncertain and grim and carrying
whatever life we've earned
by birth to carry: a rival ocean
in the blood, arrival at its other shore
the end of all voyaging, soft sand places
split together through fingers
a wine-cup filled with sand
the memory of rosewater
a brief libation blessing poured out
sea into sand, for the oldest gods
of those who travel and were lost

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Blogger Elisabeth said...

Ahh the sea. Fields of water. wonderful Art. Is that you by the car in and out of your t-shirt? The weather has improved I take it.

4:27 AM  
Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

I like the way you work the metaphor here. I was thinking only yesterday that it had been a while since I'd seen the sea - about ten years, and more like twenty since I walked on a beach which I used to do all the time as a kid.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

No, that's not me. (Would that I were so fit.) That's one of the local surfers at Cambria, CA.

The weather in this case is geographical. When I posted about the Tetons, it was real time, and I was on the way back home. Now I'm home, and going through the trip's photos, and posting things more sequentially, following the chronology of the trip itself. I'll get back to the Tetons eventually. Sometimes you just have to go with what's on your mind at the moment, and not wait to place it in the right order. Other times, you go through it all like a narrative.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Jim, how far is the sea from you there? Is it a major expedition? Maybe you need to get out more? (just kidding)

I spent so much time by the Pacific Ocean, this trip—as much as possible, really—that I felt really recharged. Desert and ocean are two big regions for me, as you probably know. Seeing them in winter was a real joy, the desert half-covered with snow and fog, the ocean storm-tossed and dramatic.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

Not having a car is the problem. But even if we did it's still a drive of about an hour before we'd hit the west coast. Loch Lomond is a fairly short bus ride - about a half hour - and I might suggest we take a trip in the summer now the two of us are starting to feel a bit better. The Clyde is only fifteen minutes away though and it's a pretty big expanse of water where we are now. I hate being on water but I have no objection to being near it. It is quite soothing.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Being by water is always good, yeah. The ocean is something special, but great lakes and huge rivers have their own beauty and spirit and power. Always worth the trip, when it's possible.

I meant to say earlier, thanks for saying that the metaphor worked for you. It seemed natural when I was thinking about the photos, arriving at the ocean for the first time on the trip, etc. Glad you caught that.

3:59 PM  

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