Thursday, September 01, 2005

Healing, if only a little, through a hurricane poem.

I wrote this poem after Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida in 1992.

Casting Further Thoughts of Freedom Into the Sea


Any idea of order
has passed
with the wildly colored parrots sailing
backwards over broken marsh.

Whirling wind reminds me that sound
travels faster underwater—
so I dive
the canal’s depth,
into bluebrown darkness, through
the madness of tangled mangrove,


but then he is gone.

As I rise
and drive myself sputtering
into the nautical light, water
covers everything:
car doors will not open,
pink fish swim
the new streams of our streets.


Receding, I see now
the mudcats
burrowing into grey sludge,
the bromiliads drowning
in their original
delight, relentless fisherman casting
flies like diving swallows
along the far bank
of Kendall Drive.

We must work together, I heard,
as the silt
thickens, and aluminum johnboats shine
like silver-winged swans.


We must work together
but somehow I cannot.

Silver marlin swim
to deeper oceans as schools
of amberjack lift the sandy floor.
Sworded barracudas wreak havoc
on an island
of soft-shelled crabs.
Mottled groupers scrape
caudal fins against whole cities
of barnacles. All the while

I am casting
further thoughts of freedom
into the sea.


The hopes and prayers (and monetary and blood donations) of my family are with the good folks of the Gulf coast.

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