The Song that Lives in a Chambered Shell

However hard you may search for it
you will never be able to grasp it
you can only become it.

Maslow called it ecstasy. Saints call it God. Mystic, witch, shamen,
snake handler, madwoman, healer – all tell the story.
Mine goes like this:

Bahamas. A moonless night in the late sixties –
our boat sails easily through the dark water.
An occasional light winks from passing islands.
Long after the others have gone below I sit
at the rail watching the wake slide by, churning
dark into light. At first I name it: phosphorescent
plankton. Then I embellish, call it stars-in-the-sea.
Words wash away in rustling water, every splash new
against the faceless sky. I grow large and empty.
The night’s poetry fills the split between me
and out-there . . . and for a time that has no name
I see with thee eyes of water, wind, stars – know
the lesson of wings.