Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Venus Reborn

Feeling the pressure of new year necessities, so today I've decided to return to the saga of Down Under, 1986 (see two previous entries)...

When I got back to Sydney from the West of Australia, my love and soon-to-be-fiancee Sandie arrived for a two-week reunion as we sought to determine whether we were a couple that could survive lengthy separations (yes, we were) and whether we could travel together (we could and did, with Sandie rejoining me in Europe a few months later, for another lucky 13 months of adventures).

But first we experienced some other parts of Australia. We explored Sydney's galleries and nightlife, for example, flew into the Outback to climb Ayers Rock, and dodged the bats flitting nightly about the town of Cairns--where I bought a brilliant and brilliantly colored t-shirt showing a sort-of swinging bachelor wombat lazing in a hammock, with pen and postcard in hand, and caption reading, "Weather is here. Wish you were beautiful!"

Prior to Cairns, heading northward on the continent's Eastern coast, we had some lovely and solitary days on the beaches of Queensland. The following poem dates from that time, as we enjoyed both weather and our beautiful, reunited selves...

Botticellian Song

Languidly my lady goes,
Accepting what the sea
Bestows, froth of waves
Lapping at her heels, surf
Slapping at the rocks beyond.

The ocean is the bond
Between us here, forgiving
All that we bring each other
For cleansing. Lithe still,
She leans looking down:

The sucking sand absorbs
Each splash of tidal wash,
Reflects her peering face
And the flash of naked
Limbs scissoring across

Liquid space—a treasure
Of radiance, and grace
Beyond measuring. She bends,
Hesitating, where the foam
Ends, her hand reaching

Down to mirrored hand
To pluck a scallop shell
Tossed to sand by the roil
And ruck of tumbling water.
O Aphrodite’s daughter,

Child of sea and earth,
I see you rise holding
Out your prize to me,
Birth of Venus reversed.
In your eyes I see myself

Revised: handsomer: a lad
Of golden summer again—
The magic of this beach
After squalling rains
Linking us now, each

To the other, and removing
Age’s stains, here where
The land’s reach falters
And drains, as a woman
Alters, spent after loving.

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