Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fire Island

1. Sayville Ferry
2. Atlantic Ocean
3. Beach
4. Cherry's Bar
5. Ocean II
6. Beach II

7. Fire Island

It came to me days after my return
xxxxxxxfrom the island,
xxxxxxxthe real ending,
the resolution of this brief resort
to old symbols, experience, of a sort,
and, most of all, memory’s cold, calm burn.

Staring into memory’s eyes, I saw
xxxxxxxthe Atlantic,
xxxxxxxthen the island,
and on a towel small as a handkerchief
my hollow body sleep, no joy, no grief,
like a swan’s wingbone tossed up on the shore.

The beach, burning up the air, was empty,
xxxxxxxsucked me to it,
xxxxxxxto the body
and I entered it. I opened my eyes
and I knew something that rises and flies
from the Ocean had penetrated me.

I am no small matter. There is an ease
xxxxxxxin a gold helm,
xxxxxxxwith a gold shield,
that tells me I’m born to overthrow gods,
born to whistle till night comes and the cold
land gives up its ghost like a steady breeze.


Rui said...

ouch. this is so beautiful it hurts.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Hi rui,
what an apt comment! The poem alludes, of course, to Apollo's discovery of his godhead at which point Keats stopped writing Hyperion.