Sunday, August 30, 2015

No Man Is An Island

You can see where it used to be joined to the mainland. A string
of granite boulders washed and battered by the surge of waves
forcing their way through the channel that all boats must avoid.
The thing itself is an untidy jumble of rocks that jag and thrust
against the sky in unruly competition, all compacted energy
and tortured torsion whipped about by tide and wind and baked
by unprotected sun that abrades like salt. Undeniably, life is here,
though hard and uncompromising life forging its own peculiar light
and particular, stagnant beauty. For nothing here has changed
in a thousand years except for the amount of guano and the rotting
remnants of weed washed up in the swill of dirty white foam and stink.
The ocean, of course, is wide, but this place hunches in on itself
and ignores the view. News will come on the current anyway, bringing
it's tidings with the relentless daily rhythm of rolling breakers starting
at the far corners of the world. Scraps, flotsam; the singular voices
of lament or joy that flow together to make the song of the world.
Who found the child's body in the hollow in the roof? Who kissed
the dead parent in their coffin? What light lit the eyes of the young woman
caressing another for the first time? A ship went down and an angel sat
on the prow of the boat carrying the survivors, who were not welcomed.
The strut and glamour of power echoed in the chamber, serving its own
ends. In time, no end to the voices. In time, the tides, the moon, the sun
and wind conjuring the limitless stories twining the human braid.

At evening, the last cries of a gull accompany the failing light. Silence
shrouds the solitary outcrop as it disappears into the gloom.
Cold, like blood, runs through the veins of the night.

A few stars are out.

29 August 2015

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