On opposing shores he stands watching the same island, a year apart in time. A close subject, he now watches so jealously, the line where the forest meets the shore. And, on the other side, he sees two gentle cliffs, longing to ascend. All the while, the rivers flow and the mountains survive in their distinct and special shape.
Chance, in summer, it found me near my home.
With friend, I hiked; we moved to find some joy.
To make a meal for others was our ploy
So ready, I should hope to always come.
First sight was lightly carved, not deep as guessed.
It was a sketch of some passing daydream.
To smile at this bright face it was my scheme.
This mask grows fixed to face its landmark blessed.
In hopes to meet those eyes or even more,
And hold hostage. Found, though they tend to sway.
Lacking resource, I bound to myself to stay.
In grace, the ocean reached out toward the shore.
Our common friend, by luck, was steering true.
He owned a fine ship, and also quite unique.
(But, dawn at once the light it was a trick-
Should make you think those jewels were made for you.)
Careful to my watch, for a short tour.
And stray not far the safety of the ship.
To echo off these cliffs would prove me fit,
Our friend reminds we dine at such an hour.
Back home I thought naught save for what I left,
I fixed my chores swiftly through their habit.
Time passed, with haste, as fate would have it.
The others were dumb weight for me to heft.
I hover while those others take their seat,
So I could have my place adjacent flames,
Which flickered back and forth as if to tame.
I breathed its smoke, as though it was a treat.
I marked a place sheltered from the weather.
Hoping to build upon my design, and mark,
Make it deeper and finish every arc.
However, it did not belong to me this treasure.
While building I often lost my traction,
But I still I hoped to feat accomplish.
Unlike destiny, I had no promise,
Instead I called it my distraction.
The view was fine, for me, whatever the excuse,
I made my circle walk, just like a ring.
Witness an eclipse, one summer evening,
All the season it would my mind seduce.
One night in winter, I look out toward the isle,
And at last it seemed to call me back.
To lose my map was such a rare mishap!
I tore my home apart, with taste of bile.
I left my door to sulk beneath the sky.
Yet, somehow was I at my one desire?
A moment with the ghost and then retire,
I all alone, but first, a myth to try:
Eat a token from a foreign land you must,
And also buy your meal with suited flag,
So in this way you'd both be duly tagged.
And one day you will, indeed, return in trust.
Errant rays of sun serve only to reveal,
How dark my dwelling had become in shade.
So generous moments in the clouds, made
Not cruel to bring me back to daily trial.
I set my mind to build a solid way,
And find a purchase nearer to my home.
My chosen setting, it would now become,
Where I build a path it should ever stay.
Handsome landscape did welcome and surprise,
With novelty, helped make bright my mood.
This fresh earth where man did not intrude,
It yielded to my tools easily, besides.
Though I might, I did not make it mine,
While the island's heat seemed to match my mood,
Harsh winds came from pleasant altitudes.
Here, stable was the climate all the time.
It seemed a sin for wasting fertile pastures,
To fallow soil, so willing roots to bear.
No apparition appeared anywhere,
It seemed only superstition after.
I set out for distant lands that I might uncover,
And release my claim until I should return.
A month would last before my heart would yearn,
This lack of need began to give me comfort.
I relished my journey, mores for the trouble.
My departure left me ill, but for an instant.
The East revealed itself in every minute,
Weird rites freed my mind from mundane bubble.
The island I missed more than any else,
But, my eyes were full of novelties.
The journey back arrived with quiet ease,
Held breath, my life had sat upon the shelf.
Now I had acquired my own vessel,
For the place I could see with both eyes closed.
I wished to find my island in repose,
But had the violent waves all died as well?
Time divided half for Heaven and for here,
Yet, now my stairs held firm or only swayed,
Instead of crushing under its own weight.
I had no ambition, save to luck, revere.
I watched the tide rise lower than before,
My name in sand would only last so long,
The pull of gravity would be too strong,
It would obey as often as ignore.
I looked for branches that I might make a fire,
Too amused by fortune to seek more.
Busy, I looked in awe to see a shelter,
Such sites! My doubt attempted to deny her.
The warmth inside would keep me from the cold,
To which I'd grown accustomed on the shore.
My noble self took stock of what I saw,
While my instinct demanded I be bold.
"If I close this door I might forever lose,
This handle in the night which is so black,"
I could no doubt return and find my track,
But then will ever waste this chance to choose.
A slim excuse I had to close the door,
It shut out all, and I was warm and safe.
I knew, at heart, it was not mine to take,
Yet, my need was greater than all others.
Thus my preferred destination came to be.
Though the details should have mattered some,
Months of worry would be soon undone.
That cold night would finally prove the key.
To close old haunts and the pull those stakes,
In other lands would happen in their course.
For now, good times would only be the worst,
Our life would be sweet dreams for me to make.
Late, I let my boat to break and bend,
My shame should likewise warp me too.
Despite my loss, it was never true,
While still the island stays, as lovely when-
I think, the moment I did live upon sand,
So much like paradise, it was enough,
That I remained glad even in the rough,
The memory was writ by expert hand.
- ▼ August (10)