July 7, 2011

The Island (I)

Bay Estaque, by Paul Cézanne

The tide erases the path through the mud flats
and makes things on all sides look the same.
But the little island out there has closed its eyes.
The dike around it walls its people in.

They are as if born into a sleep
that silently blurs all destinations.
They seldom speak,
and every utterance is like an epitaph

for something cast ashore, some foreign object
that comes unexplained, and just stays.
So is everything their gaze encounters from childhood on:

not intended for them, random, unwieldy,
sent from somewhere else
to underscore their loneliness.

New Poems


  1. this is one of the most beautiful things i've ever read. seems to want to be sad, but i don't see it that way. no man is an island, but maybe every man is. this seems life explained to me.

  2. A litle harsh on islanders, don't you think? Though I come fresh from a trip to Ireland and a Yeatsian Innisfree viewpoint.

    Good to be back.

  3. I do find it sad. Quite sad. For I have felt the loneliness of wanting something to belong to me, and getting it secondhand, as if cast upon the shore, randomly, does not satisfy the need. It is a deep hollow, with fear of being abandoned, and forgotten. It does blur destinations, because if you don't know what belongs to you, or to what you belong, how can you know where you are heading?


"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Go ahead, bloom recklessly!