Time is strange but not a stranger.
I drop to my knees
to pick out glass beads:
green for this lily pad island,
true blue for the North Atlantic
black for Black Rock,
red for that wild Aries heart of his.
A thin piece of rawhide with a
strings them together
with the center: mother-of-pearl
carved into a fish hook pork chop,
those coves and cliffs of his
Trustrum, surveyor and fisherman
Albion, masterly builder and math
the compass and the square.
Ancestral land of Manissean
religious dissenters, double-enders,
rum runners and cod.
Inn keepers, peat diggers,
harpooners and English farmers
Capt. Winfield Dodge’s horse
drawn beach wagon and Hazel’s
Lobster and August meteors,
Victorian porch dog, and swinging
Swordfish with pasture butter and
corn on the cob.
Stripers running and chowdah
simmering, tidal clock and fog
The amulet is ready,
filter for evil and beauty
like his Diva Maria singing love’s
from a low G sharp up to high E
flat, ahh purified
by the lyric muse of bel canto,
the heart’s desire an end in itself.
Sweet mercy, surfs up!
I hop on my scooter
to go ride waves at Crescent.
Walking barefoot over the dune
path of rose hips and honeysuckle
I breathe in October’s cornucopia
and put my wet suit on.
It’s a New Moon low tide, the berm
is purple and wide.
Glancing to my right I notice this
dark lump ashore.
Moving closer I spy a young
dolphin in distress, unmoored
with smooth wet skin, dark gray
cape, white undersides,
pirate patch around the eye,
and unique hourglass pattern
Baptized in ancient seas with
and no sign of bodily injury,
I use my boogie board to “shovel”
back into its salty currency.
A startling signature whistle, some
crazy frequency for identity,
issues forth from the long slender
beak equipped with 200 teeth.
What is this maritime oracle
Its eye pulls me into the mystery -
interconnectivity of species,
that magnetic center of being,
Primordial eye all-knowing,
24/7 sonar brain “seeing” Nothing
Yes, it worked! The wild beauty
swims in a circle to thank me.
Finally, my chance to give back
to our Blue Planet, the endless
As I leave, messenger dolphin
winds up back on the deathbed
Ugh tired, I yell for the only other
person on the beach, Christine.
We labor hard against an incoming
to deliver Delphinus into knee deep
Meanwhile Fate rings the bronze
bell 8 times.
Tiny bubbles rise, coming out of the
inscrutable mouth, rostrum.
Now on its side, that fathomless eye
closes. We both cry.
Paradise wrecked, Anchor lifts,
I did not “get” the creature’s last
there was no phone to call for info:
That was not an orbital “thank
but a vortex “goodbye.”
Crestfallen and washed up;
Totem dolphin stranded on “No
At least this highly social denizen
of the deep did not die alone.
Its playful days and conscious
at the ocean’s unruly surface is
Vast blue night beckons.
I remember asking Les,
after I passed by his bunny huts,
toys, and flags:
“Why don’t you ever go to the
With his trademark shrug he
“it is too sandy.”
Now I get it -
dolphins only go to the beach to
Never the beach.
Only Zen Ocean.
*(Mystic Aquarium, CT)