Moonrise Serenade (in Gmaj7)
The Beachside Resident - October 2011

Don’t be fooled, friend––
life undoes itself in every age.
The world cracks and cracks,
sprouts up again through fissures.
Nothing, everything is new.

Don’t be fooled,
don’t doubt yourself.
These days are
better than before,
end of summer days,
swept with wind,
cusped with gold,
days of indigo
and storm swells.
Cocoa Beach days
of light and of sadness.

As one empire dies,
and dusts up the skies,
the newborn rose
presses up through our toes.

Truth is where it always was––
in the simplest of moments:
lightning over the islands,
shivering, pink electric strings,
in gauze-gray clouds,
smooth as suede,
smooth as dolphin skin,
in the salt breath of the east,
or the fading scent of plumeria…
Life undoes itself, always,
time tangles and untangles,
twists back onto itself.
(A labyrinth, a haze,
a mangrove maze.)

She wanted you to chart her passage,
to navigate in words her way home.

Align the channel
with the boathouse,
veer right at the sandy outcropping,
skirt the egret isle
and take the third tunnel
(your oar at your eyes
to protect from spiders).
Cross the redfish flats,
(tails like rubber,
slicing stillwater vees),
turn toward the church steeple…

These directions are useless.
The maze is always changing,
the mangroves regenerating.
New paths form,
old ones vanish;
She is lost
on water like glass,
water still as ice,
pink, algae-frozen,
pooled in heat.

Don’t be fooled, friend––
claim your time here…
Should thunder roll down on you
and threaten at the second point,
keep paddling.
Strain through the channel,
up the fallopian waterway.
Seek out this knowledge:
that life is more than suffering,
more than dreams,
as the river sky opens
and the low moon
paints itself
in carnation pink
on the horizon.

What did it mean when she said
“in the lee of life”?
The dolphins have been running lately,
which might explain it,
all this confusion,
all this paddling against the wind…
She waits now,
waits on the dock,
the moon austere, tangible
as a golden coin.

“The flowers smell beautiful tonight.
All is right in the world.”

What does it mean when she says,
“to be present is to be observant”?

These mantras confound you:
“I am peace, I am truth, I am one.”
Are they aimed to convince, to reassure,
Or to transform,
to make it so?

Don’t be fooled, friend––
remember only what is true,
forget the rest…
That summer gives way to fall,
like white hairs
hiding in temples,
that time sweeps at the days,
as wind leveling the sand.
Remember these things,
the simplest, the best:
that life happens only in the now,
that to be human is a sort of artistry,
and that the waves
are always better
than they look
from the crossover.