further note to Clark

do you know how hard it is for me?
do you know what you’re asking?

what i can promise it to be water,
water plain and direct as Niagara.
unsparing of myself, unsparing of
the cliff i batter, but also unsparing
of you, tourist. the question for me is
how long can i cling to this edge?
the question for you is
what have you ever traveled toward
more than your own safety?

                                    — Lucille Clifton


Another excellent retreat day, another gorgeous sunrise.  It’s just too easy to get used to being in a place like this, too hard to think of heading home tomorrow.

In rhyme royal world, I continue to plod along.  Can’t say I’m sad to see this month of rhyme royals come to an end!

A life so different
from any I can imagine,
I watch her, intent,
save herself one time and again,
wonder if she will ever win,
wonder who she’ll trust
to hold her, lift her to light from dust.


4 thoughts on “Watching

  1. Molly

    I like the poem. I like the light/dust contrast. I might have lifted her from light to dust, just because that would be a surprise, and because I do think that is the direction of any human life. We need to turn into dust, unfortunately, and we do spend a lot of time thinking about how to avoid that. As if. Ultimately, I’d like someone to accompany me, and that would be “winning”. Not to totally mess with your poem, or anything like that….
    Oh, the boonies of America. How much I would like to live near the Atlantic Ocean in a pleasant little town (where it would always be July, of course).
    But only in my dreams. I don’t know how I would deal with everybody knowing my name, in reality. I have become a city person.


    1. I see your light/dust point. I wasn’t thinking of the trajectory of life, but I can see that it’s there, inverted in that image. Hmm … something to consider.

      As for living in a small seaside town where everyone knows me? Yes, that sounds exactly right to me. I am definitely a city person, but a city person longing to go back to being a small-town one.


  2. Molly

    Plus I think I might be able to consider, not as criticism, but as a stimulus:
    “the question for you is
    what have you ever traveled toward
    more than your own safety?”


    1. Oh yes. Absolutely. It really resonates, doesn’t it? Because isn’t that true for almost all of us? Really makes you look at your choices, at what they mean, or what could be true if you made a move not motivated by what is safe?


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