Thursday, May 15, 2014

POEM: Half a Garden (For Kate)

A Poem while Eating Alone
The Island of Rhodes
13 May 2014
Marco Polo Tavern on Rhodes, Old City

Leaves of spinach roll like waves,
Rolling waves in this Aegean Sea;
And the crimson seeds of a pomegranate,
Like so many unexplored islands
Scattered on the blue green swells.
This bounty is glorious on a white plate,
But only half a communion tonight.

You would know how the baby shrimp
Are cooked, even more you would
Smile and sigh, your eyes and your satisfied
Soul; how sweet these seeds of a world
That offers on loan these gifts.

And as the clever host sets medallions
Before us, pork and figs and feta, favored feta, 
You would close your eyes again and choose
To remember all this and what it is to be here.
But I eat this feast alone, quiet and curious,
And it's only half a communion tonight.

This solitude is a strange trail
Into a lost and found cave of knowing and being,
And I know tonight that spinach
And pomegranate, shrimp and feta:
These are only partial truths.

The table will be brighter, the joy will be deeper,
The garden will be paradise,
When you are near.

Icon of Saint Katharine, in a Hermitage on Patmos