Transient Reality

South Spit, Eel River, California

Lying here in contented bed: Our little light spreading a quick pool of warmth Gently diffusing into the measurable darkness Of our comfortable home. Wondering how life was felt When our remembered dream was set. Standing there on the rock, Feeling the ocean below: A monsterous salivary mouth, Holding a half-eaten earth, greedy for more. Feeling from the rock the anger of the ocean, Flipping itself up toward us: A thousand liquid dogs’ tongues jumping. Sensing the ocean’s hungry in its mighty wrath Below us—immeasurable darkness. Compelling us to believe in the tyrranical instincts Of this ocean, a demonic evangelist, But a vicious acid, Breaking down the foundation of our lives. Feeling our bodies settling heavy upon us, And the land silently drifting away Feeling internal emotions withdrawing and crashing Againt continental barriers in our minds, And modulated pulse beating in rhythm to the waves. Dizzily watching the world reaching around us. Feeling the reality in our minds: The concepts of mass, of time, of permanence, All dispersing in our minds. Seeing only the ocean waves. Fearing the consequences of its power. It could have come up Easily and licked us off our rock; Or we could have slipped. Lying here in contented bed: Living the life which was impossible to feel When the ocean was licking Up the earth below us— Quickly sensing a transient feeling, A haunting presence of a deathful fear, Of an acid cruelty paramount and antipodal To the sun,—another reality.

June 1970