Writings by Tim Girvin
The White Sheath

That time
that I savor, far
before dawn, no
sense of light --
just this:

a long, winding
sheet of silk is
being drawn, slowly,
winding cloth, over
the dead grasses
and stones, trailed
round the branches -- it's
whispering a call to
fulsome sense. And
the drawing never stops;
it is one, long pulling --
uncovering the soul
of sound: alone.

Because you went.

Straight up, the trees
are an entanglement of
black strokes; and I
can see them sway -- like
sumi-ye, coming alive.

Because you looked.

And the water is
nurturing the shoreline;
it's that form of a
vessel, sailing --
no noise of motor, just
the slipping through
light waves, that pass
beneath, gliding.

Because you listened.

A dense, windborne
perfume, washes through
the night -- it is of
high, dry pine,
made moist with seasalt
and rounded, watersmooth
stones, kelp curled,
beachwood dried.

Because you scented.

And in the blacknight
I'm walking out, blind.
I take each step,
with sightless sense,
learning of the gnarled
stones, bony branches
that lay there, cracking
like bones, leaves like
garbage, speaking only
of geography.

Because you touched.

I hear a turkey call,
warbling, minding that
I'm here.

And he's there.

Because you are.

Not alone.

(Originally sent: August 21, 2004, Decatur Island, San Juan County)

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