Theodore Enslin


Supple as skin
what is alive
breathes free
Scot (they were pirates)
free as a skin
is alive breathes
free sounding a rain it
is not merely
alive and supple
breathes free
is a clatter now
palm fronds breathing
and the sea the sea



Alive another afternoon where was I
yesterday the islands cayes they call them
drift on water smoke they do not touch
yet touch they do enough the music aromatic
how it is the music in the ear a shell
against another shell so few to find
lie easy at one's feet but barely lie on sand
blood and water water's blood no color
what we think of salt is where
we came from where to go but here not here enough
to know the way not easy simple wash.



Noon's wake toiling the sea no touch
that will leave it light a fire rising
as a noon at wake allow us fortune now
and at the hour of we know no hour the one
a rising moon the sea a sea below it.



Shawls of the pines they do not protect
they take the light of what there is and hold it
hard as you can but you can't hold that way
listen to the wind it is a vagrant
let it be shawls of the wind you cannot see.



Be careful where you set your foot
a flower drops is not the death of flowering
do not crush its shadow let it be
in night wind's following some of it
will blow away.



How much to say I haven't said it
yet nor will I say it only
in the words and there are words around me
some these sounds of what a man calls
play the trade of winds against a trading sea
and that's an elder language some
I understand and use but more than that
how much to goes between my feet
old sound still saying it.



            Old Style Still

 I sat up late to watch the moon
until the moon was later I could not
waked later yet to see its pools
reflected on the sand below me
heard the sea beyond still restless and unquiet.



            In Mirror Silvering

 There is a salt that blackens silver
silver as the salt itself it vanishes
in silver light the opening of wave
above the dark below it
silver's wake.



            The Walk Is Daily to Rum Point

 The many as the many counted
do not mean to be or so remain
as each becomes another or another
covers it will not be counted
tide and wind will be a way upon them
so they vanish do not so they do remain
the many as the many mean to be
and as they do not go again.



            Storm Bird/Frigate

 Cut into wind a flying leaf
nor veer to stay there flying
apropos of nothing blind as winter
darkens sea to stay no moment wind will not
cloud bearing sail at topmost mast and white
the color of a flare of sea not white
a bird to enter which of which another way
cut neat and soundless following a curve
I cannot plot or measure it.



How did it do it?
Next time if you
understand the lowering of clouds

that left and who's to say
how far or why they did?
Far off the cayes
key in and keep the one
that locks your door.



Old man who listens for the wind
the wind's idyll such winds that follow
what the wind's imprinted only
for the wind its language let wind be
it is the place of spacing
how we give it breath to breath
how to say there is no language
other than the wind wherever wind
who put the language in our mouths.



            Life, Still Life

 Like a vase that carries
precious substance how she walks
aware but not in arrogance
she holds no secrets so
but carries what she has
which may at any time
fall down and spill
to nurture what she came from
not to shatter what she is.



            As Well To Say It

 I am in a place I fixed to be in
now here I am not fixed
a variable among these artifacts
that I do not know so well.
It is the earth and I still tread it
but only as the sand unstable
or the sea and that is where I tend to go.



            I Sit Beyond the Sun

 Wine dark? what is wine?
what dark? and why the sea?
It may be (maybe)
The elders knew its sense
we do a little but
our senses blurred and dull.
A storm is coming through
a cloudless sky.




 A long a
Long Island
I saw things
Small enough
Or cayes of grass
Not only these and
wanted you to be here.