I live with my family by the sea in Northern California where we try and balance our time between music, books, movies, the outdoors, working, playing and being present for each other's lives. My poetry has previously appeared or is forthcoming in a number of journals, including California Quarterly, Wilderness House Literary Review and Firefly Magazine. More on my published works can be found at www.facebook.com/RyanWarrenPoetry.
O welcome to the clear cool morning
O welcome to the fading dark of shining stars
O welcome to the waking wind upon my arcing back
so this is what it means to awaken
to know with every clear-eyed predawn breath
the opportunity to carve
from the lime wood of this day
what I will
to release from the shavings
whatever shape I may
what unimaginable luxury
what unbearable fortune
to know that every star requires me to choose
that with every hour I have chosen.
Slate grey sea, slate grey sky.
I float in that bitterly cold morning water
hugging my board like a child and judging
the build, size, break of oncoming waves
but mostly watching the steel water lap
at the shifting grey horizon, scanning
for the curious heads of seals, dolphin fins
my fingertips numb from holding
thinking of you, the pain you held
like a hidden child for so long.
Always you were a slate grey sea
glittering, but afire with the light of other suns
boiling over, crashing on shores
stirred by wet wind and concealed currents.
So late to realize, I've only floated at the surface
smiled and ridden the breaking face
but never understood the source of the pull
not some shining moon
but the ship you sunk, the misplaced shame
drowned faces staring up from the deep.
How Not to Begin
I can feel the weight of the golden morning upon me.
Clouds pink with possibility
illuminate the day's manuscript
birds sing their own busy songs
the sound of distant cars rushing off
to responsibly get an early start
on the necessities of their lives.
Only the sea is my ally.
Sliver blue, flat and un-rushed
this morning, refusing to judge
my second cup of tea
to be harried by the urgent gulls
to mind the unaccountable foghorn
calling us to prayer, to begin.
©2016 Ryan Warren
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