Tidal Dance Turning and Turning Birthdays

for LM, 2017, from poet-friend-lover-comrade

the last photographic plate
tainted with tears of missed
sunrises, burning orange lifting
pacific shells of turtles from depths

she kicks sand back to eternity
tides held like gravity lost on Venus
each smile crabbing to surface
plovers and sea faring gulls
lap up the human crash

she finds lifting grain touch
of mahogany deeply sensual
obsidian eyes left in caves
her dream early before sun’s
rise, she dreams more detailed
words, colors, postures, conversations

age of youth is memory lifted
at birth, soul-catcher drifted
from Portuguese, Irish, German, Mexican
flotsam, flags of cultures like sails
pushing her boat over earth’s edge

a bell from some forgotten jungle chapel
sits at bottom of cenote, she dances
with Mayan mystics and jaguar shaman
earth where chile, cocoa, corn
push boulders into pyramids
how do poets know syncopation

in new friendships, that love like
cascading Pacific Northwest melts
beckoning tropical reefs five thousand
miles away? Friends’ ship spun like
silk tapestry, love the color imbued
under a moon crusted with ice?

oceans smash into drifting continents
singular particles, even seven billion of us
somewhere we find love anew, companionship
honor in holding deep in crisis, advancing
through steeplechase which is life
yet love is universal, bent by star dust
particle and particle of human shaped
by memory of fire, water, cloud, island, spore,

no one knows where years go
strata upon strata, carved by laughter
and a burgeoning love, a series of broken
cries for an honest human touch, like the sea
ripping into sandstone
drawing perfection in white sand

a world with gravity and myriad of DNA
now I call her friend, lover, mate
journeys shared, dreams revealed, tides
contemplated, kicked high, frozen
in panoramic photograph of her
stepping stones from womb to a rebirth:

today – Oaxacan, Celt, Alsatian, Anglo, Iberian
somewhere in Estacada, Oregon trail of tears
she smiles at sheets of rain daily feeding
verdant dreams sculpted inside
messages from old women of past

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.