A Message Found in a Bottle at Sea

Sudden and deathly and full
Of madness that oozes from crevasses
I cannot find we walk

On cliffs and throw rocks
Down to tunnels that flow
Off to seas we can no longer

Find on maps we store in
The dank and dirty attics that whisper
To us on cold nights when

Rain falling is the only
Sound we care to hear – how
Did we get here? The

Captain has fallen off the ship and
We see him waving in the waves while
The storms build and there is just a

Long, lone white bird cawing in the
Wind and I lean to listen but discover
Only a howl and a crash and

The fingers sinking beneath waves that
We can no longer penetrate with cries in
This pitiful night… where

Is the light
House we once knew?

Voyages on Sunny Days

He set out like a Modern Ulysses. Always
Leaving. Skipping plans and
Waves that, at times, push up against
His bare boat as
He moves along. He

Skips along the sea. He
Happy only at the far-off sight
Of rain clouds. Thunder that
Threatens.

On Stumbling On a Painting

On Stumbling On a Painting,
In the Depths of The Louvre

You paint it so
Well. You…
The clouds –
The storm –
The water so blue it seems
The sky. Yet,

The beach I cannot see,
The beach. The
Shoreline eroded
Away. While

A pale man, a lone
Man wanders with his
Back to us. Footprints

Lost to gray sands we
Cannot see. Only

The sea, the
Sight and soft smell
Of gray at,
The approach…
Of a storm.

Posted as part of Poets United Midweek Motif

On the Side of an Ancient Sea

There are certain travel moments when you just feel so small. Sometimes it’s in a massive cathedral in Europe as you’re gazing up at sky-high domes. Sometimes it’s outside, in nature, when you feel so tiny compared to your surroundings. Towering mountains, ocean views, panoramic sweeps that go on and on. Or, one of my personal favorites, when you’re in a museum looking at art work that seems immortal somehow… and you realize you’re just a single spectator that will come and go, while the art will always remain.

I experienced an entirely different feeling of smallness while hiking up Dinosaur Ridge in the Front Range of Denver. It was a more profound, almost jarring feeling of smallness because it extended across millions of years and across dramatically altered and changed landscapes. It included remnants of things long gone, like dinosaur foot-prints and volcanoes, and a landscape that was once a massive sea, all alive with plants and animals – all of which no longer exist. It was eerie, uncomfortable, and inspiring, and all at once. The feeling of being out of place and out of time. Or at least lost somewhere in-between.

An Ancient Shoreline

Along the Shore?

See what you have here is a world where this entire area was a massive sea, and this ridge that we have today is the ancient seashore. So as you walk up the ridge you come across footprints, tidal marks on rocks, and other remains of long-extinct life. You add to this the fact that what was once flat ground is now a great slope. You find yourself then on an ancient shore looking at markings of long-dead things that are oddly now vertical in the air. It’s honestly hard to wrap your head around this much change.

Tidal Marks

Dinosaur Tracks

And, ultimately, I’m left with questions like – what will this landscape be like in another million years? How will we be remembered on a geologic scale? And, perhaps most ominous of all, will we even be remembered… or just lost somewhere in those layers of rock? A small marking in hardened dirt.

Mysterious Concretion

Thailand, 2010

Walking alone on days
When the sea is turquoise,
And emits some ethereal glow
That whispers subdued songs
To old men that pass,
Tapping sticks down broken streets.

Tra-la… la…

And moving down streets
In quiet, drenching rain,
While water taps down
From distant jungle leaves.

La… la…

What roots clutch
To earth I’ll never see?

… la…