Three summers ago I can barely remember
where my body was. Certainly, the mind was
someplace else, lost in dreams and fire
and the sooty afterburn of whiskey shared
between strangers and sometimes-friends,
the kind who you see only twice a year, maybe
three if coincidence pulls you solemnly together.
I often believed I could swim further and further
from the coast. I often thought the tides
were my own prayers for release and laughter,
my tears swelling with the pregnant moon,
my devotion a circling seagull ready to dive
at the merest mention of a fish-tail in obvious strife.
Today, I know the meaning of quiet. Today,
all is serenity, tired, yet bubbling at the thought
of another year escaping shadows.
Too many have said I breathe quicksilver clarity.
I could agree. I'm merely shells and bones
and a single note, a clarion, if you believe.
Tell me that this island is a place
to get away from all this smoke. To be replaced
by a different kind, the more fruitful, earthy type.
Kindling, paper balls mashed up by dirty fingers.
A flame to keep the mosquitos at bay.
A smile and strum on a guitar. I will be this
in a few nights' time, upon a rock, I would think,
staring and singing of past and future light.
This place will be about mermaids and pirates,
of the recklessness and excitement which I've
nearly forgotten. This city is filled with too many
anxious people, too hurried, too everything
I've thrown away, given freely. But they say,
"Go find yourself another day where one's needs
will be answered faithfully. Beyond roads and billboards,
beyond placid gardens filled with perfect roses."
You might think I have the strength to wait patiently
in my bower of solitude. How much you'll be mistaken
when I finally let go of the fire I've stoked these past
twelve months. Spent on furious foolishness alike,
given without breath or thought at what may happen
if I were to just sit down. Unfurl my hair. Adopt
the lotus position. Clear my sight of everything
unneeded. Pray, shimmer and sway: this will be
my mantra. Delusion and derision a bitter tale
we'd both best forget. Dystopia and disillusion
a ferry trip away. All of this, forgiven.
All of this, a new day to paint