alongside the canoe


John Slocum fell into a swoon
in the sea-tinged woods
by Puget Sound; his words
of hope shook many Shaker men

out of their sins.  Sparks fly far
from cedar blaze – the sea
booms in a ship’s eye
lashed by yardarm to the polestar.

It’s not the size of the cosmos
but the color of the scales,
gilded when dawn pales
rippling on ice-floes

across the horizon, back to Ocean –
over hide rooftops
sun-parched corn crops
in the jungle (Squaxin, Galilean).

When Davy the Song Prince pranced
alongside the canoe
Maggie saw what she knew
was hers, & grew embarrassed –

yet her almond eye looks to the sea
& the song endures.  A stone
fell from turtle-grey heaven –
the flare of a meteor, a mystery;

an infinite cloud-bank shaped like wing
a feather of ring-dove
signifying love
left brush-marks down by Slocum Spring.


No comments: