The essence knew no boundary
over great tracts of wilderness,
in the abrupt descent into the sea.
Through uninterrupted spaces,
the spirit is as evident
as the grass it passes through.
Akin to a last breath expanding outwards,
seeking a landing,
somewhere to rest its laurel leaves
with lines of light
that guide through the night,
like the lanterns of Santa Marta,
all the runaway stars
that slip through the sky to the playa,
a culmination of sparks from a dual bonfire.
Passing between flames,
we were no longer the same but altered forever.
Candles capture our image
while smoke lifts us ascendant,
etched in the moon’s white visage,
we’re stark black and in tatters,
crisscrossing footprints, overlapping shadows.
Love and loss lean on each other
until they become one in the same
mournful song of nocturnal birds taking wing,
soon settling into everything;
a scent, a fabric,
the fragments in nature that form a picture
outside of any frame, it’s nothing we can name,
that which knows no boundary.
Entrenched in the heart,
the feeling swells into a soaring crescendo,
breaking chains of attachment, Bowie’s “Heroes”
communicating directly with something immaterial.
If the spirit was a wind,
it would be as wild and wayward as these trades,
ragged from journeys, seaborne and saved.
We would get a sense of it through its impact on the waves,
in the patterns in the sand it creates.
Relating to spirit it stands
seedless yet rooted,
following the oldest of forms,
connecting practitioners with those who passed
a half a century before.
There is a subtle stirring in these movements,
a newer manifestation of an ancient art
which is once again a communication.
In the next chapter, after everyone goes home,
we’ll tend to the alters.
The ash of insense and dead petals will be swept.
The salvaged portrait polished
until we find time for reflection.
The gaze in the photograph
attaches a steady line to our own memory,
like a charcoal tracing over the spaces between meaning,
in a search that is never wavering,
we can come to an understanding
that between death and life
some things endure.
For Uncle Joe McCauley
I think of you often