Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Journey Home

     Many weeks ago, I started posting the first of a projected series of thirty prose poems which I actually began writing early in February. With "Home" this series is finally completed. I'm not sure what will come next--probably a creative rest for a while. But please check back periodically. I'll likely be starting a new writing series again soon.


    but which?    there have been many    there'll be more    and what kind?    some had roots    others were just makeshift    I remember the yard where I buried a toy soldier    my bedroom window with a view of the cemetery    the big dining room table Mom chased me around -- she was ready to box my ears!    and what about that dreadfully dying girl?    her ghost's haunted every home since then

    home's been the refuge I couldn't survive without    the prison I had to escape from    the womb world of my greatest need    the ground zero of my harshest pain    to wander homeless is hard    but to feel like an exile in what pretends to be home -- it's worse    this home where I sit now and write is a haven    a blessing    yet it's only a tent I've pitched for a while    only a camp in the wilderness

    a huger home's waiting and I'm getting closer to it    after my ashes are scattered in the ocean I'll have no more good dreams or bad dreams    I'll sleep deep and sound and long    the primal sea will be my next-to-last home    my last will be my first    the one I knew before I came here    the one I carry like a Diamond in my soul    I've been journeying back to that Home for a thousand lifetimes    I'm almost there


     Since I'm on the subject of "home," here's another piece addressing that theme, one approaching it from a different angle. This poem is from my 2009 book "Black Butterfly."


Rolling up my pant legs above the knee,
I stand by the great Atlantic, gazing out
over breakers to that unbroken horizon.
For the first time in more than 25 years
I'm drinking this glory with every pore--
surf streaming noisily against my calfs,
a brisk, salt-tasting wind, the play of sun
on foam, gulls' audacious cries! Amazing!
How did I think to live without the sea?

And how alive will I feel after I leave?
Yes, it's always there inside me, ebbing
and flowing, its primeval flux as vital
as the blood sluicing through my veins.
But these senses strain to know it too.
This spirit aches to savor its immensity!
Now I see. I was in exile all those years.
My true home is here, facing the ocean,
one with fire and water, earth and sky...



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