Sand dollars are not fooled. Though they are bottom dwellers who move slowly
and prefer to live under a layer of sand, they are not fooled.
Old stories still float in the deeper beds, murmured from one velvety mouth to
the next. About how they once fell from the moon into the sea, lavender disks
cutting into the water’s surface at an angle to populate the shallows.
When you lift a bleached skeleton from the sand, you may hold the remains of a
martyr. It may have been rendered to offshore detention beds, held without
charges, refusing to recant or name names. Perhaps it had no names to give.
Finally, its corpse is tossed back into the ocean to travel like a ghost.
You find it on the lip of the sea. An ivory disk, fallen from the moon. On its
back, the trace of a five-petalled star.
--from The Bitter Oleander, Fall 2008
-- Janet Jennings
Dancing With Diva
for Barbara and Wendy
Under sail on The Diva, Angel Island ahead;
sky brushed with fire, blue and gold,
chrysanthemums of red and green
against the night – we are rocking
in the arms of Fred Astaire, a waltz
over waves, willing to loose all control
for one-two-three, one-two-three,
we glide suspended into a back dip
on these good waves trusting bouyancy
and the truth of fireworks: promised
nothing but light artfully placed.
It is how the world holds us –
with a startlement of photons exploding
in an unquenched urge to rise and we rise;
each breath a long note of wonder.
-- Catharine Clark-Sayles