After a few days of wallowing in computer-induced depression (see below), I was given three gifts in the past three days: 1) I found a solution for configuring my email [perseverance pays off!); 2) I worked with an AA newcomer, which reminded me of the life-shifting grace of the program that is central to my existence; and 3) I gave the best poetry reading of my life. My own words seemed to be full of power that evening, judging by the exuberant response of the audience and the raves of my husband, a man-cave kind of guy. Afterward, I sat in the dark on my patio, glowing like a lightning bug, pouring out my gratitude to the God of my understanding, who transformed me from a suicidal drunk into a woman who inhabits her skin with joy.
~~~~(Commercial break: The following poem is based on the photo above, courtesy of Ainsley Allmark at Dolphin Visions. Visit Poetry Jam for other poems inspired by Allmark's photography.
The Sea Is a Woman
The sea is a woman who bears children
and then must feed them with what food
her kitchen holds, beans and onions
when times are hard, elaborate spreads
when the larder’s rich, and always after
scrubs the dishes.
Her governor, the moon, a bureaucrat,
ordains her tidal blood without concern
for inconvenience, but she’s resigned,
even sees the benefits, to child-rearing,
say, or affirmation of her womanhood,
in the ebb and flow.
It’s the tax man who exacts the heavy toll
of living, that hungry sun who sucks
her shekels, whose daily glare demands
his due. What comes in, soon goes out,
the nest egg evaporates, but she grimly
pays the price.
Ferociously she loves the land, her mate,
but he is forever leaving her behind.
In the moments when she has him near,
something in her surges, and fervently
she licks his skin, his neck, his thighs,
his earthy taste like honey on her tongue.
They kiss on the sand; she shatters
on the rocks of his imperturbable
soul. She takes the small gifts he offers
and savors them, rolling them around
in her mouth like unbreakable promises
that he will always, always return.