Ruby

We swam your ashes out into the blue
way beyond the break where I knew,
like a child standing in a bucket
connected to the marvelous,
that we are born of water
and all we did was help you back
as the rain swept in and wrote it’s secrets
into the open sand.

Later, a pod of dolphins swam by
and I swear there was some fishy being
glittering just below the surface
so that when I want to see you
I need just ask
the wind and waves where you are.

Not that you’re with them, there on the beach,
no; you are them and I need just ask,
just knock on the sky and listen for the colour,
walk right in and ask

if this is water as it really is,
the swirling memory of everyone you loved,
everyone you hated, everyone you never knew,
and what it’s like to just keep swimming.

“Fairy Tales”

Once upon a time

a little prince ran away

following his love as she left.

Just a boy, he couldn’t find her

in the crowd outside the walls

and was soon lost in the people.

 

When the King and Queen

noticed their son was gone

a search party was

sent immediately to

scour the kingdom

until they found him.

 

Ten long years

they looked for

the lost little prince,

last seen following

his broken heart’s beat

into the dusty sunset.

 

One morning he came

out of the rising dawn,

a man of his own,

but he wept when he saw

the King and Queen

and how they had aged.

 

His mother embraced him,

crying out and not letting go,

touching him here and there

to reassure herself he was.

He looked into her eyes

and a last tear fell from his.

 

‘Can’t I ever be with her?’

He asked softly, looking away.

‘O, sweet boy’ his mother cried

‘I don’t know love’s secrets.

Even if I did, I wouldn’t want

to see them written here.’

 

‘Sometimes love waits

and wonders and watches

distant hilltops for a sign.

You do not have to search

to find that sort of love.

Sometimes it just comes back.’

 

‘That is all I know,

so come inside now,

out of this cold weather,

and sit with me and

tell me all your stories,

all the things you’ve done.’

“Maybe I Lied”

Maybe love’s not an ocean.

Maybe it’s just a bus station

late at night

with an unattractive couple

holding onto each other

for as long as possible

while another couple practices

really cheesy dance moves,

twirling around

in their own universe

like the moon and her sun,

casting their complimentary light,

regardless of who looks on.

“A Lover’s Wave”

Love is an ocean,

with wind-whipped waves

rising out of blue

then breaking.

 

Sometimes they smash

onto the shore,

a messy

salt story.

 

Or they rise again,

sea slipping between

his fingers, sinking

deep into the sand.

 

No sooner

has he left

than he misses the

salt sound smell.

 

He must not forget

to find a shell for

his beating blood to

become a crashing bell

so that even far inland,

away from love’s laugh

and the bluebreaking waves,

he can hear you for a moment

deep in the ocean swell.