Under a tide, echoes of footsteps above,
prophetic soles astride shoals gushing gospels
others have mistaken for miracles, for
cures wading in ills impatience obscures, since
their unveiling, as queer, dangerous things since
the sea’s beginning, I have stood, and stand still,
waiting centuries to be undervalued,
my sorrow captured by dolorous vendors,
and bottled for morose retailers, those brutes
          truth’s fortune evades, apocryphal grains of
          some distant desert’s flagrant sands passing from
an hourglass broken by an unseen hand, dust
of shattered scrolls to be sold to schools all thought
and every variety of faith has
escaped, linen bandages of some ancient
mind’s mummified ramblings wandering halls in
derelict temples where thought was martyred, its
philosophers’ busted heads blown off before
my beard’s Tridentine forks could restore to my
          lord fulfillment of his great work, art’s weapons
          of words my tempest’s force, command of language
remanding me to this grave when the rudder
of my tongue runs aground my will’s own plan, pen
in my hand, ink at once a man and a phrase
colossal and impossible for time to
erase, a stain of voices forgery paints,
unaccountable accents happenstance in
pinning me to place, for I rise with the wave,
chasing to world’s-end marauders who make off
          like vandals with what my silence scatters, in
          like a wind and out like a breath, a storm’s wrath
furnishing opportunistic rumour with
whispers of oracular gift, carrying
on her swift wings all that I say and, when I
do not speak, her eager sisters the fates each
hasten to sing of how the sea has many
ports, no borders, and only one king, a curse
surfacing when others sink, fame’s flood rising
to caution those envious of my name not
          to fall into themselves like Narcissus did.