Seahorses' Eyes
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A Story
Leafy Dragon Seahorses at Monterey Bay Aquarium
Photos by Jessica Reynolds
        Singing in the morning, singing in the afterlife
          For Zada, 1928—2011

The birds
singing in the early morning
outside my window,
when I was a boy
growing up in the South,
and now, after all these years,
now that my hair has turned white,
the birds singing
in the early morning outside
my window,
as I lie restless and unsleeping
next to my love,
as she dreams in her sleep,
her peaceful sleep—
no doubt these birds shall be singing
long after my own voice,
and your voice,
whispers into a ghost,
and like the proverbial tree
in the woods
into unfathomable silence.

Or shall our voices ride on solar winds,
merging with all voices
into the singing hum of the universe?
      Running streams
After all this time, these years,
70 years and counting:
the experiences, events, memories,
crimes and tragedies,
mistakes, missteps: all this history,
joy and pain, all the drama: all,
all shall settle to the bottom
like rich river soil,
to eventually, over time,
grow plants to feed the fish,
dragon flies and other insects;
and above this dark bottom,
we shall run,
we who have found forgiveness,
we shall run,
run like the stream, clear and free,
sparkling in the light,
the mirror of self-reflection
gone, no more:
twisted images, scarecrows
hanging in the wind.
     To future poets,
whoever you may be
You, too, in time
shall fade into history,
into the dim past,
however little,
however great your fame.

You shall be as a speck of light,
elusive as memory,
elusive as the Great Mystery,
humble as dust,
and proud as wind
blowing through the dreams
of those still sleeping,
bringing tears of recognition.

You shall be what I have been to you.