The Drummer by the Sea

A drummer sits by the sea
        listening to the hollow, holy undulation
of his mother’s clock
breathing against his face, his heart-
beating a different rhythm, a
        syncopation, a duet.
He calls to her and
she answers.
        She answers as he calls; he listens
to his own voice in the waves, her
his heartbeat, their duet…
the drummer hears
a whisper inside his ear,
(He took his inner voice to be
"Why," s’he said, "do I feel so lonely?
We haven’t been together in a long time.
Why, in order to be together
must we first be apart?"
S’he listened and heard and relaxed and
came together and came apart: together, apart.
S’he felt the swelling of their breath,
rising, falling, like the waves on the beach,
like the rising and falling of
their body,
the air,
the day,
the night,
and their rhythms;
drumming beats,
of the sea, of the waves,
the waves and the foam,
and the crunchy, cool sand
and their feet titillated by it,
on it, off it, on, off.
billions of grains, ancient mountains,
crumbled empires,
fallen spires,
and the timeless sea, giver and taker,
and the dark lurkings underneath,
fear giving breath to joy.

3 thoughts on “The Drummer by the Sea

  1. Poignant
    I wish I could hear your read this. I read it aloud, as I do most poetry.)
    Your alliterative choices paint these scenes in the timeless rhythyms you also conveyed so effortlessly.
    Your poetry is a pearl.
    (I’m still a newcomer to your blog. This poem appears personal about you and your mother? Underneath the beauty of your words, I still feel struggles or perhaps past struggles. I should be asleep, so please forgive me if I’m missing something so obvious or if I trespass on your privacy. I wonder if this was part of your life cycle or when you “came out” to your mother or dreaming of how it could occur or both? If you have posted that you don’t want questions, please disregard this.)
    Your writing leaves me breathless.

  2. Silvermoon- Thanks for all the very generous comments. I read your poem to your graduating daughter, and it is beautifully wirtten.

    My poem “the drummer” could be about my mother, but it’s also about embracing the feminine in myself, and beyond that, sensing the rhythms of Gaia, Mother Earth. The drummer is the masculine, the beater, the controller. He finds in the rhythm of the sea a larger, inevitable rhythmic force to which he can give himself.

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