Not Yet, Paradise
Lombok, August 2013
A certain pleasure drips from the dawn’s soft glow,
a sure peace rises as a mist over the curling waves,
a hand like liquid fire grips all under the rising sun.
Morning rings over the not-so-distant volcano—dark slumber
jolts in favor of the blue, of the cascading surf, of the gentle
voices greeting the light. We watch, my wife and I, behind
the terrace’s tinted glass. From the folds of arms and smiles,
from an awakening to life charmed far beyond merit, from
gratitude of witnessing mountains folded up from sea, sharp
as palms’ blades and clacking life in the yellow crystal of dawn,
we step forth onto stone forged deep in earth’s furnaces. We
step to the lip of the sea this earth-born life was hewn from.
Others call scenes as these Paradise:
Sunrises hailed by steaming coffee and honeyed wedges
of fruit, forenoon spent in stripes of sun and shade
filtering through swaying fronds, midday’s baths
in coral rich as any Crayola set, among wide-eyed
fish brighter shades than any highlighters, and sundown
finds us showered and strolling fearlessly through sand
and onset of shadows and breezes thick and fibrous as
bamboo roots. We taste life netted from the sea and ranged
over fire whipped from dried coconut shells. Rice is good too.
When our eyes will finally sink to inevitable sleep, we
suspect what our waking will hold. We have seen already
its promises. We don’t resist the heavy pull, the edging
black at our vision.