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Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

The One and the Many

for Richard 

Here we are again   in the midst   of the turning world   
at one with the One   who sings down the sun   
on the beach   at San Pancho


the One   who flings buckets of gold   
then plunges   all that glory   into a cloud   gone 
as a goner can be   but Look
this baby comes back   all aglow   from the womb in the sky
at one with the ebb and the surge    with the sitters in sand
under purple and pink umbrellas     We two   are at one
watching the saga of sky  our skulls touch   
so fragile   so hard   these vessels   
so full of what   has been ours

and the hippies   outside their tents   throw balls   for their dogs   
their tattooed dragons   and snakes   luminous   in late light   
at one   with the One   who sings   in Dorian mode


that music of yearning   arouses the egrets   they flap great wings  
fly into the palms   at one   with the One   who turns day   into night   
flings a rapturous   veil   from above   to below
where The Beloved   watches over    many turtle hatchlings   
They clamber   over each other   in plastic pails   yearning 
for Great Mother Sea   a gust of wind   lifts   a woman’s skirt


and the one   who speaks in my dreams   
about  how to bring   the ineffable  into words   warns   
Be careful   don’t try to squeeze   immensity  
                                                  into too small   a vessel

Light creates angular rays   a veil   a tent   a pyramid
descend   become circle   touching the waves

as the pelicans do    in their flight

could be saying   ice castles
could be saying   the three   is the four
is the whole sphere   of being

could be saying   girl in a green dress
playing   cat’s cradle
skies blaze   behind her

or could be the one   who just passed
out of his body   over the River Jordan
his many angles   his circles   his aching rainbow   at one    
                                                                                   with above and below

It doesn’t stop here
It never stops changing
the One   whose hand works   the loom

changes the colors   of thread
changes designs   a sleepy fishing village
becomes   a surging boomtown

bristles with   beach condominiums
upscale shops  restaurants
cacophonous bands   compete in the streets

while back in the U S of A
a country careens
                                    off its rails

Still the sky   continues its saga     Look
those tiger eyes   have burst
into tiger lilies

blankets are thrown   on the fiery One
fire  fights fire   as though the sun
were trying to rise   from the dead

the whole horizon aflame   
with the name   of the One   
who sings down   the sun

in Dorian mode   in bluesy   lessening light’s   surrender   
Dusk wins     Moon vessel floats by 

The Beloved declares   It’s safe   It’s time

                                                            for the hatchlings’ release


They wobble   on new legs   in wet sand

so hard   so fragile  their skulls

heading into the surf     We watch   


we souls   in mortal bodies

Primordial Turtle’s   the One   who sings in us  

We gasp as a wave   carries those babies

                                                                    all the way home

As Decreed by the Invisible

Forget the promise of May   in Venice
though your honey’s been planning it   for many a moon
Forget the palazzo you’ve stayed in before  
its third-floor view    of the Grand Canal     
Forget the gondolas   the water taxis   the vaporetti     
They’re not overflowing   with laughing crowds   not gliding through 
the waterways     They’re all tied up at their piers     
Their handlers are sheltering in place   
So are you     You won’t be 
wending your way   through narrow streets
across arched bridges   to an intimate restaurant
by a small canal   where you and your love will watch
light fade   dusk fall   while drinking a shimmering    
Veneto bianco   and feasting   on risotto di mare     
The restaurant is closed     The chef is feverish   coughing    
feels like an elephant   has stomped on his chest     There is no bed 
for him   in the hospital     The air is heavy laden   
with the agony   I see     I   who can’t be seen    
though I’m running  the show
though I wear a golden crown   a halo   a corona
though I shake the leaves   whip up the air    that belongs 
to us all   passes through lungs   into bloodstreams   and trees
into everything that is   including me    I sparkle 
in Venetian glass   gather droplets
of sneeze    scatter the virus    
you’ll never know   whose vital force   will ebb away   next

Truth be told   you don’t believe in me   don’t believe the unseen   
has power over all   your brilliant technologies 
The joke is   your airplanes   your stock markets
your fancy red car    that  talks to you
are all    hiding out from me

Now I’m the boss     Stay home     It’s time   not
to get on an airplane   time   not
to drive through heavy traffic   time   not
to go to very    important    meetings     It is time

to take a slow walk   with your sweetie   around the neighborhood
It’s a glorious day   in early spring   time to smell
the magnolia blossoming   outside 
the child care center   time to delight
in the yellow   red   and purple   jungle gym    but where  
are the children?     Time to contemplate   the sign
in the window    “How do we end   this divisiveness?”

I am not the divider   I hold you all   in my grip     Look
the sky is a clearer blue    than you’ve seen   in many a moon
The Grand Canal is running clear   full   of fish   even a jellyfish        
I give you time
to sit in your yellow velvet chair   to visit with
the dark-skinned bride   you helped dress  
in a dream      She wanted a slinky  tight  white gown
through which her skin would glow     This gorgeous
visitor   from the unseen   has come to help you see
joy   in terrible times     You wonder
Where is the groom?     She says   
You’re breathing    the unseen beloved  
                                            enters your lungs
                                                enters your heart
                                                                       is everywhere

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