THEN and NOW

Lighthouse

Foghorns lowing in humid voices,
ward off terrible nights, just terrible,
rattling putty-loose panes in your
windows staring blindly at fronds
madly slapping at wind but you sleep
I had been sleeping, my brother
but now I am awake in my child’s
room in the night watching twinkle
lights on boats pitched in the bay’s
foamy throat, horns calling to us
to you lost
in fog wallowing into swells
it is as if your absence opens
the sea’s chasm now, it coughs,
and you still sleep with deep
meaning forever through the end,
carelessly listening to the foghorns
praying their baritone chorus over
a signal light flashing from voice
to voice and I tremble, pull the
coverlet taut across my child’s
breast and when I turn from
the window and from the restless
sea, from loss, from you, the room
fills with dark forest lush with vines
we’ve  never seen, frogs croaking
songs we’ve never learned, will
never know, but the anguish we’ll
never lose in the voices of engulfing
darkness, moaning your name
Richard and now that I am alone
I’m ready  to confess the awful pain
twisting my conceited heart it
was some trivial dispute that carries
me here, my arms full of ghosts,
of roses, to kneel at your feet
almost ready to see how at each
turning we grew and I chose this way,
this place and and you another but
now this, this converging of ocean
and earth with horns deeply chanting
I can keep going if I listen, if I feel
where I cannot breathe, if I will begin
without you, horns lowing your name
east through the fog,  to meet your
rising light standing at water’s edge
at this void beyond voids where
we’ll once again share our child songs
in this empty space where love speaks
in the fog, at this place, Land’s End.

Lighthouse fog

Richard Douglas Campbell (b) Sept. 10, 1951 – (d) July 29, 2014

Ash scattering, San Francisco Bay, Sept. 10, 2014

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