The water calls.
I walk the streets in densest night.
The moon creates dawn before the advent of the sun.
A pathway to heaven lies on the water,
As I walk, it beckons.
There’s a drumbeat.
I’m pulled by the fullness of the moon
and urged by the lapping of the harbor.
An insistent rhythm of
African drum tones
In an ancient pattern
Bass tone alternates with song tone
male and female. A timeless thrum.
Treasures lie in my path.
A baby shoe by seawall’s edge
empty and wet with dew as if the baby
had jumped over into life
and a primal baptism.
Sprinkles of oyster and mussel shells
glow in the moonlight.
A red ribbon. A manmade river of blood
drizzles the pavement.
Now I hear the silent city
as it accompanies
the drumming of my soul,
and the song of the moon.
Many years ago, I wrote the progenitor of this poem when at dawn on a full moon, I walked along Charleston’s High Battery and found these objects. The entire walk was a journey of many miles, in just a few short steps. The poem formed itself then and have gone through several reworkings. The photo illustration is one I created to accompany the poem.