Do you believe in Ångels?

Visibility black
the sea churns rabid
and I am drowning in a horror film
of flotsam and popcorn.

 Harpoon useless, I let it go
gloves and knees I cling
to rocks and breathe, somehow
pull myself above maelstrom.

 And in this moment I know
    —my boat is gone!—

 Waiting… calming… waiting…
I spot her floating out to sea
her scarred belly turned toward the sun.
Straight into chaos, I swim her down.

Again on the rocks, I empty her of water
bridle her to a tree, and watch the tide plunge
three meters in three minutes.

All is calm, we are far above the sea.


mmWhen the Serpent rises!
mmcoils of undulant anger
mmseize my boat, envelope me
mmgrind me against the cliffs.

mmSomehow the tree holds, as do I.
mmSomehow the sun still shines.
mmMy boat like the sky is fine
mmmy heart unsettled as the sea.


I paddle for port
a slip of sand a mile away
picking my path through labyrinth
of rip-current and whirlpool.

And as I enter this cove of cliffs
Ångels cry from on high

  m   — WAVE ! !


mmmI turn my boatpaddle straight into
mmmThe Ocean’s Maw.

mmmmm        —a deep breath ( ! )
—and a prayer.

            mmmmm               —ko chang, thailand
28 december 04