Monday, June 30, 2003


After days of rain
that very nearly drowned him,
raven is drying
his brain in welcome sunlight,
getting ready to pack his

beak and beat it south.
The little rock and roller
wants to play with the
big birds high in the Andes,
string his song down to the coast

again, and stop just
short of the Galapagos:
to meet up with Whale,
who’s been waiting to give him
back his immortality.

Raven’s been pushing
his luck, playing beach bummer
in this tiny bay
where the magnitude of Whale
can’t enter even in dreams:

this briny hide-out
is only a pirate’s cache
of Cuban cigars
in the intense panoply
of contraband that’s Whale’s grace.

Raven deserves to
receive Whale’s forgiveness,
now, for barging in
and gutting him like a fish,
trying to eat his power.

He has learned that small
can also be enormous,
can feel the great pulse
of the ocean in his eye—
the heartbeat of Whale, who drags

the Pacific like
a sweater unraveling
in waves behind him.
He has learned that he doesn’t
have to eat Whale to be him,

that he can dance on
his back as he plows the sea
seeding new beings,
and sing his clouds into bloom
like flowers, or like prayers.