They Tried to Contain Her



They Tried to Contain Her


with concrete walls

and massive boulders,

sandbags piled high along the shore.

They compelled her to stay

within her bounds.


But I stood on the edge of the cliff

and watched her seep through cracks,

wash around edges,

sometimes with thunderous force,

more often with the graceful undulations

of the snakes that guard the temple in Bali,

the one that can be reached only when the tide is low.


I went there once when I was younger

and more fearful, anxious to leave

before she came back, lest I become hostage

to the rising tide and the hazards

I could not see below its surface.


Now I am not so afraid.

Now I would stay in that holy place,

enraptured by her fluid embrace,

knowing that she would show me

the path to my own liberation,


just as she would never let herself be contained.


(from Within My Illusions)


This week, I recorded a video of myself reading the poem. You can watch it by clicking the thumbnail above, or through this link.