Birds play ocarinas on the roof
as I lay here and bargain with the truth,
on my island in the dazzling blue,
crickets doing whatever it is they do.
Ulysses once stood upon this shore
and tried to rouse his mariners once more,
there were no sailors left to raise a sail,
warriors grown thin and worn and pale.
Truth must have its way from time to time
and bludgeon you discreetly from behind,
I’ll deal the way I’ve always dealt with truth
while birds play ocarinas on the roof.
putting out to sea
tired conceits these
overwrought by me
I live as far inland
as it is possible to be
but because a man
once stood upon a beach
the sea laps up
against my door
I did not hear you,
could not hear you,
I was standing on the shore once more at Ithaca,
wondering if I’d ever sail again,
and if so when,
and then where to,
to do the things I always had a mind to do.
plain nonsense too,
like all the other dreams
I might have shared with you.
Succeed or fail I raise the sail
for one last voyage,
our dreams to meet out in the deeps
not here remain.
No victory won nor glory gained
by resting more,
nor gazing back towards the twilit shores of Ithaca.
[first posted 10 April 2014]