This summer I turned 40. I returned to Seattle to celebrate. The imagery of this poem comes from that time and location.
by Frederick Mead
It takes a heretical, decisive step
to become a man, to crossover water
without caveats, insecurities, failed courage,
our need weighing heavily on the iron horizon,
or mad infatuations. Without desire
pulling up coastal pine by the roots,
unquenchable desire discarding trunks
like flotsam to the shore, constructing a barricade
of driftwood, which only fog can wash over.
Yet through this dense fog, our ferryboat
bravely navigates the chain
of San Juan islands, green quartz
emerging then receding, jagged-edged
in the fog. We can see no stars or sun
to guide us. Is it heresy to trust
an unseen Captain? Whose permission do we
need to take command?
Breathless on the farther shore, surprised
by the brevity of the journey, we disembark safely
at the terminal. We trace a finger over contours
of the relief map, apprehending in retrospect
the winding, circuitous path we have traveled.
What guidance do the stars and sun provide?
Stars are wishes and dreams achieved
through possibility. The sun? Merely an egg yolk
melting through our fingers. Food for the next voyage.