Friday, April 6, 2012

The Blessing In The Wind

One of the deep times, returning home from two years overseas, passing through Greece, on a day trip from Athens to the ruins at Delphi. I wrote a poem on that day in August, 1969. In that poem I claimed that the ruined columns looked like remnant trees to me, divine trees belonging to the God. In a few days I would be in Sorrento, on the coast of Italy south of Naples looking across to the Isle of Capri. In an empty ballroom of the Parco De Principi Hotel I watched Italian TV while an American astronaut set foot on the moon with Italian commentary telling me what was happening.

But before Italy we would journey to a Greek island and there I would swim in the Mediterranean. The island was the emerged top of an undersea mountain. There was no bottom to the sea. Swim out twenty feet and you could not see the bottom below. Before Sorrento was a couple days in Rome. After Sorrento was a day in Naples and then embarkation on an ocean liner for the week's journey to New York. On that ship I had a shipboard romance. On the last night at sea I threw my hashish overboard while grieving the loss of the drug. I could not risk putting my mother and father into the soup like that. It had seemed to me quite correctly that a family unit where I was the son passing through customs in the other countries under the authority of an American passport was safe. I was not certain that was true of American customs. Indeed the agent gave me a weird look. I stared him down, clean but determined to get high again at the earliest possibility.

My mother and father (actually my step-father of eighteen years, me on the way to age twenty-three) were enacting a complex and painful ritual. They were engaged in ending their marriage. My mother was barely holding it together. There was really no other way to do this but to go home following the travel plans in place from before the start of the divorce. How crazy can you get?

The Blessing In The Wind

On this goat grazed hill
I stand in the holy wind
that twists past your salt,
past the oracle
near the top, past the grotto
where the priestess kneels
to gather her breath.
I take you all into me,
harmony of scents.
Even the goats kneel
in this wind driven moment
on this thrice blessed hill.

March 13, 2010 7:27 PM

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