not just the planets and the stars,
but these minds of ours
where worlds of thought
orbited our heads,
and quantum energies
on phantom threads
through inner space,
as we came to know it,
for better or for worse?
Piece of a bottle that floated in the sea,
that once held wine that lovers drank in toast,
sailing on a boat to Bliss from Glee,
on a warm summer wind, courting the coast.
Spirit of the liquid that it contained,
that once was stoppered or corked or sealed,
coursing through the veins till nothing remained
but the pleasure and joy it would yield.
Part of a promise that shattered into shards,
that once was transparent and bounded,
buoyed and transported on the waves’ regards,
now pearly and softened and rounded:
tumbled over and over on the wide sand bed
like a body once loved and loved and loved.
John retired after 35 years in the Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections of Princeton University Library, where he was head of manuscripts processing and then, for the last 15 years, curator of historic maps. He has traveled widely, preferring remote, natural settings, and am addicted to kayaking and hiking. Last summer he published Waypoints (Pleasure Boat Studio, Seattle), a collection of place poems.