The Road to Continental Heart

Los Angeles to West Covina

Week One


Standing on the sand:
the One World Ocean
pounds on the crescent
cove beaches and jutting
stone with a saltic force,
sloughing off the faces
of the cliffs in mudslides,
carving caves in the headlands,
hollowing out the arches
(like a patient pack of wolves
culling a gravid ewe
from the fleeing flock)
till the jut stands abandoned
as a sea stack in the breakers,
sinking slowly beneath the crash.

So, at human scale, the awesome
presence of the Pacific,
from the Western point of view—
the violence of nature
in evolution as competition.
But as the vast first womb
Herself, the Sea, these waves
caress with tiny fingers,
or press real hard in wild
abandon to the pleasure of Herself
in a longest dance with Moon
and Sun and Wind and Stone/Sand
spin of planetary scale,
Creatrix Mer occidental.

Standing on the sand,
on the Pacific ocean floor.
The Longest Dance mystics
ride the waves behind you
in their wetsuits, attuning to
the shivers of her groaning
pulsive foreplay. Facing
to the sun on the first day
of the Walk, the first foot
rising, falling, following
the footsteps of Peace.

Carry the hopes of all your friends.
Marry the willing Earth’s yearning.
Tend the tilling of the soul in terra.
Mend the Web with footsteps learning
anew the endless truths of old.

Do you feel the cool pass
of ghosts? The Uto-Aztek
walked here, too. The Shoshone
Gabrielino have vanished,
so long ago, the books (un)just
list the name. Tideland
gatherers like the Yurok:
shellfish, surf fish, acorns,
game. Floating balsas,
rafts of tules, and dugouts –
for the inland waters only.
Trading with the sea-hunters,
bathing on the beach, lazing
in the sun. Now passed along
the starry road, or drifting
‘cross the sand seeking the camps
of the dead.

Head east. Move
with Earth’s own revolution,
turning always toward the Light.
Is it morning? Is He rising?
Are mountains on horizon
facing distances between you
across the basin of The Angels?
What was for breakfast? People
press around, walkers and friends—
how many? Laughter? Tears?
Fears, and exhilaration, thrill
of anticipation—what?
will happen . . .
Please, for me,
walk the globe of one remembrance;
wear the robe of trees and birdsong,
talking blues of Earth’s unhindrance;
share my Muse with me, whose words long
to share your road to continental heart.