Sunday, April 5, 2015

NPM: Ocean

I had a day off at last, and finally made time to go for a long swim. It was like being born again. I thought I'd post something about the sea for NPM, but having already used my go-to ocean poem during NPM '11, I had to look around a bit. I found this piece by Jason Shinder in The Writer's Almanac archives (you can always depend on Garrison Keillor), and even though it wasn't quite what I set out looking for, it's too haunting not to share. Bear in mind that this was published in 2009, one year after Shinder's death, in a collection titled Stupid Hope.

Jason Shinder (1955–2008)

Goodbye again. Say there is a little song in my head

and because of it I can't sleep or change my mind
about the future. Now the song runs all the way down

to the beach where I sit as if the sky

were my room now. No one, not even you,
can hear me singing. Not even me.

As if the music rose from the mouth of the ocean.

No mouth. Like rain before it reaches us.
Like wind twirling dresses on the clothesline.

Who has no one has the history of the ocean.

Lord, give me two more days. So that
the last moments may be with someone.

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