Something Is Being Born

after a poem by Bill Vartnaw

Something is being born in me, overcast by all & nothing: land & sea; & in between: the beach. Something involuntary, which I check for musical subtleties, but there are no subtleties. I fear its opaqueness: no justification: only commitment, only the in between, the beach, on which I walk, on smooth-washed sand: step & in the sand the track. Always present. A line from out of sight to point to passion’s goal, in sand & salt, under this slate-blue sky of dual horizons: waves & dunes, without the excuess of the past by which, in childhood, I failed to grasp it. Knowing this, I’ve lived in fear of letting go, of offering my light in the shadow of the sun. With admiration & envy (& loathing &, yes, guilt) I have held back, assured by the safety of anonymity, of not being in the light. How could I participate? Too humble for victory, too high for defeat, I thought my day would come like the gold swatch of sunset, a reward to measure past service, the end of a shining day, not this opaqueness, this definite presence, this hand-sized gray rock, basalt, this heft, something I find on the land to throw in the sea for the splash!— never having left the hand.

8 January 1980