By Karin Lindgren
May I come to gather your scattered spindrift,
string your wind-strewn letters like beads of nacre,
versify a necklace of seaborne strophes
tumbled and polished?
Let me fill the conch of my ear with murmurs
reeling off the curls of your waves like vowels,
rhythms spiced with consonants tambourined from
jingle shell slivers.
Tongues of men and angels are idle babble
when I hear the fluency of your thousand
liquid agate idioms losing nothing
in the translation.
Make the strand a palimpsest for your musings
spelled out in the alphabets of the shore birds.
Greek like, their inscriptions encode your riddles
not for my solving.
Will you share your secrets with me, your priestess?
On my tripod seated, I greet your aura:
Blue-veiled vapor, beaded with seed pearls, bends low,
In your shallows, currents are combing seaweed,
curling kelp that knots like a mermaid’s ringlets —
proof that she who counters the jealous riptide
loses her tresses.
In your swishing pleats and unfolding shimmers,
in cloud shadows water like, windward running,
fly the ghosts of yesterday’s flood tides. Oh, you
mover of heaven!
Will you lend your voice to my ink’s slow flowing?
Will you pour your symphony into these notes
dark and pitchless? Come be my muse, you sound-full
mover of silence.