Tag Archive | David

Sea Salt Moon

DREAMS AND MELANCHOLY

Sea Salt Moon is dedicated to my brother David, who took his own life so very long ago. I remember him mostly as a child, years before the troubles began…

river8

 

My fair lad, with pale gold hair
Slender and strong
Steadfast, faraway philosopher eyes
Look to the skies
Do you see that sea salt moon?
It hangs in the cloudy dusk
It floats right in front of you
It teases you with its fullness
Drawing you to the tides
To the hazy unknown yonder

Look out to sea
To the breakwater
To the dinghy boats
And wave worn yachts
Fishing fleet
And ferry on the distance shore

Keep to the horizon
Those white washed breakers
Wide open Atlantic
A chance to see
All the way to France

Take your turn
Poet, youth, love
Don’t be afraid
There is only today
Circle your strong arms
Around my waist
And hold me
We’ll guard each other
From sand fleas and green head flies
The squawking gulls
Dive bombing for fried clams
And dropped pieces of hot dog buns
Drowning tides

Look to the sea
Smell its promise, its vastness
Its allure
And dream great dreams

I want to go with you
Don’t leave me
On this perch of shore
Where titans meet
Sand and sea and time and weariness
Don’t leave me
To swat away those persistent gnats
To sweep gull droppings
From the gritty silver sand
To clear my lungs of frost cold spray

I want that sea salt moon
Just as much as you

 

 

A Tale of Two Davids

AS SPIRITUAL AS I GET

I’d heard all about the statue of David, of course. The magnificence of the carving, the perfection of form. Its compelling presence. Michelangelo’s greatest work, perhaps. Florentine, uniquely Italian, yet universal. A statement of the human condition.

When I saw David this summer in person, right up close, I fell in love. It was the same with Van Gogh’s paintings in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. I never knew how much I admired and cared for Van Gogh’s work until I saw them for myself some seven years ago. One can read and study and memorize every detail of a photograph of an art work, but seeing it for real is a whole different experience.

The same is true about violence and death. One can read about it in the newspaper or watch the nightly TV newscast, and feel almost nothing. Over and over, we hear about war and battles, bombs and sniper attacks, until it seems we become immune to their true horrors. The biblical David was famous for his victory over Goliath. He epitomizes the intelligence of the Hebrew people. Yet he killed. Perhaps too much time has gone by for us to feel the violence of his act.

When my brother David committed suicide some 25 years ago, the anguish of it was too much to bear. All I could feel was anger. I held back love, compassion, pity. I froze out understanding. I couldn’t allow acceptance or any contemplation of the human condition that my brother’s act of self-inflicted violence might have represented.

But when I saw the David of Michelangelo, in the company of my sister who endured the same anguish and agony as I had 25 years ago, my heart began to open. In the presence of the master sculpture, I let compassion in. I tried to understand, and in doing so, began to heal. I waited too many years. I should have visited him long ago.

 

A Tale of Two Davids

After 25 years
I’m finally ready to talk about David

There are two Davids
One cast in stone
In the Accademia museum in Italy
The other cast into the ground in a coffin

David the rock carved of solid marble,
Form of a god
David the weak
Composed of decomposing human flesh,
Probably all bones by now

One symbolizes heroism
The other was cowardly
One slew the giant
The other slew himself

One had the intelligence
To outwit an enemy many times his size
The other had intelligence too
But couldn’t find his own strengths

Rock David is perfect
Cut from the stone by a master
Flesh David is perfect too
Perfect in his anger against himself

David the Florentine statue
Admired for courage and artistry
The world will remember
David my brother
Reviled for his inhuman loveless act
We try to forget

David born of the Hebrews and Michelangelo
Lives in beloved eternity
David born of the Hebrews Joyce and Herb
Died in despair and disgrace

A tale of two Davids