Wills, Sue, b.1962; Drake's Island

This moment’s an island, resting on the mind’s sea,
Or a cerebral ship sailing
From land to land to land, failing
Only to slow the fast decay of the body,

Which is a candle, lit at our birth by the light
That creates and consumes, ever
Burning wick and wax to sever
This body, mind, and soul until all is made right,

When moments are not islands bound by raging waves
Of time, plodding onward from land
To land to land, no rest in sands
That through the glass are set and sifted but not saved.

How is it the islands that make a man’s short life
Are so fondly reached by the mind
Yet so hazy, unclear, we find
Them to be, while body and mind engage in strife

That sends the body onward ever to new shores,
While the mind stays seeking, peeking
Into those former strands? Leaking,
Memory’s vessel can travel so far before

It reaches its limit, to this moment draws back
Its bark, telling of lands once seen,
While body plods and only dreams
Of those lands poorly seen by mind’s eye, veiled in black.

But how can Now be remembered, retraced yet felt?
This moment’s an island, soon left
For Memory, it’s shores bereft
Of body, life—not touched or seen, or heard, or smelt.

Only the mind must sail forward to un-birthed ports,
Scoping what can, may, or will be
Felt by this body that can’t see
Clearly into Future’s domains, but through reports

Must see eternity—that Now is not an island;
Only when Then and Then are met
And wed, then Now is born and let;
As beads threaded on string, the mind connects the strands.

Broom Snow,
Written at the Desert Schooner I,
Pecos & Bonanza,
Las Vegas, Nevada
March 2016

Painting: “Drake’s Island”
By Sue Willis,
Oil on canvas, 2011

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