Robert Bly

Sitting on Some Rocks in Shaw Cove

    I sit in a cliff hollow, surrounded by fossils and furry shells. The
sea breathes and breathes under the new moon. Suddenly it rises,
hurrying into the long crevices in the rock shelves, it rises like a
woman’s belly as if nine months has passed in a second: rising like
the milk to the tiny veins, it overflows like a snake going over a
low wall.
    I have the sensation that half an inch under my skin there are
nomad bands, stringy-legged men with fire sticks and wide-eyed
babies. The rocks with their backs turned to me have something
spiritual in them. On these rocks I am not afraid of death; death
is like the sound of the motor in an airplane as we fly. And I still
haven’t found the woman I loved in some former life—how could
I, when I have loved only twice on this rock, though twice in the
moon, and three times in the rising water. My two daughters run
toward me, laughing, arms in the air. A bird with long wings comes
flying toward me in the dusk, pumping just over the darkening
waves. He has flown around the whole planet; it has taken him
centuries. He returns to me the lean-legged runner laughing as he
runs through the stringy grasses, and gives back to me my buttons,
and the soft sleeves of my sweater.