I’m just not into distant stars;
my destiny does not depend on them.
What’s here and now is far enough
for me, so I seldom look up--
just try for straight ahead, daily,
walking from Point A to Point B,
as if afflicted with vertigo (which
I am) and willing to live with it--
focused on a single point beyond
and trust my sense of smell to find
the sea in all its rank splendor,
to walk along beside it, not
plunge into its too wide breast (that
‘line you must not cross’), but
cherish as a clue to how one might
learn to walk in step with what’s ahead.
Bonaire Palm Sunday
I fell in love with a donkey
on the Caribbean island of Bonaire.
He was there in the parking lot
when we arrived; he was there
the morning we left, trapped
inside the resort all night long
but gracious with greeting and leaving
when released the morning we left.
In our beginnings are our ends
(of course), and my donkey friend
also served as a drummer when I
discovered a piano in the restaurant
on this mostly undiscovered (aside
from divers and wind-surfers) island.
Playing for a few Dutch tourists,
I heard his hip clip clop clip
in time to Jobim’s bossa nova
(Was it “Corcovado” or “Dindi”?)
as he strolled alongside the dining room,
as if he owned the place and had
every right to make his presence
known there, if only in time to the music.
He was right, of course, so how could I
fail to feel affection for him?
I never learned his name--if he
even had one, running wild and free
on the island as he was, and secretive
of speech; but I admired and respected him
to the point that I could envision
him escorting Christ into Jerusalem,
people placing palm fronds beneath
his hooves they knew not why.
Perhaps my donkey friend might even
be willing to carry me somewhere, if
I had a destination of ultimate significance
to go to, aside from the island of Bonaire,
and a piano. I just want to thank you, Sir,
for being at the right place at the right time,
awaiting our arrival, attending to our
departure—my very good friend.