The Visionary

He is not like us. He reads strange books
Of mystic poetry, mythology.
He walks the beach alone, pausing to look
Beyond the black horizon of the sea

For hidden prizes. (An esoteric script
Revealed to him that all the world's contained
Within one word; yet all the words of men
In the whole world cannot explain the moon,

Heavily hanging above the indifferent ocean,
Which hugs its secrets like an octopus.)
Knowledge of visions, the mind's unreasoning ways
Cram his frail shell of silence till it shatters,

And the volcano of his crazed response
Erupts; its lava fills the darkening air
With symbols, gestures conjuring Atlantis.
He scrawls with seaweed his biography

Elliptically upon the watery rocks
Until the waves erase it; then retreats
From the sea's lacy edge as delicately
As any wader. He hesitates to view

The white-eyed moon; his wild and frenzied face
Avoids her haunting gaze; he cannot bear
Her intimacy and her dreadful distance.
Silent once more, shocked still, he is afraid

Nothing is out there but infinite space,
Dead as driftwood, speechless as the stars.
He fears that he can hear no sound at all
But the incessant clamour in his tight skull.

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