Charles Marecic

Charles Marecic

Charles Marecic is a poet and photographer who lives in Washington, Maine. His poems and photos have appeared in various and sundry publications over the years.

 
In Pursuit of a Sea Nymph

Across Illyrian mountains
wild Boreas,
seeks Orithyia,
daughter of Erechtheus.
who becomes frightened,
and flees.

Far from Ilissus, from
Erechtheus,
she stops—this
is far enough—
innocence no longer wanting to
restrain curiosity
she begins to dance.

He in pursuit
reckless with the awkward touch of
a new lover,
whipping sea into froth
like passion broke open
water shook loose like lover’s sweat
wind maddened sun
crazy like wildfire
this day out of control
tossed like waves
tormented like heartbeats
skyward
almost free,
she
from Ilissus, from the blue depths
of the bottomless sea
almost touching cloud
the prodigal child of
an amorous sea
randomly exploding into being
like love.

 
Oceanids

like three thousand sea nymphs
waves agitated into frenzy
almost becoming

whitecapped
seductive like the glimpse
of Thetis’ pale breast

Peleus, you fool

climacteric energy
ungirdles moment like
Calypso’s
pitiless charm

yes, Odysseus, even to you

renders nothing
but want
drowning in an hungry
ache for more.

 
Ode to a Mermaid

Dreams.
You are dreams.
That is
what makes you beautiful.
Dreams anchor your tongue
to your eyes
to your touch
to the foot of a curious sea.
I am greedy for your dreams
like a fish swallowing.

Dreams turn you into aquamarine.
And ripples of waves from your fingerprints
temper flesh along the littoral,
the haughtiness of rock, shell, glass,
everything into sand
adrift upon the assiduous surf
of your dreams.
Grace undulates to the cadence
of dreaming. Live like sand and water
meeting.

Covet dreams as though each were the
last and only place where sea touches land.
Even the awkward ones
where the tide runs low.
Starfish sojourn in the pools;
rainbows circle in the foam.
The purl of your dreams lingers like Echo
lost in a sea shell.

Dream always,
like the tide.

 
Ulysses Dreaming

Even Ulysses,
one must imagine,
slept peacefully upon a rock
in the sun.

Perhaps only in his youth.
Perhaps only in his dreams.

Or in the dreams of those
who remained behind
or had gone forth
from where he might have lain.

Asleep in the sun
did he dream of his fair Penelope?
Or had she yet to have been
born to him?
Was she then lying beside him?
Whispering lowly?
Breathing?
What, in fact, did the records say?
What will those who come even
after me
who lies stretched out upon this rock
imagining the day Ulysses,
the dream of Ulysses,
lay dreaming of his Penelope
or of nothing
but the sun
the warmth
the respite
or just lying on his rock
listening to the water
speak for him
dream for him,
say?

 
Galatea

Across twilit dawn
a restless wind blows the hours
into a chaos of present
moments collapsed into a single thought—
to touch you
—settling like dust
upon the marble ark of perfection
as today expropriates the eternal.

Lost in a contemplation of
hand finger-tips exploring
the province of your face,
I feel your breath
Cool like Greek horizon
upon my cheek
the exhalation of dream revealing
what I shudder to imagine
your sober Illyrian eye.

Are you asleep,
smooth stone anchored
in the chaos of this place
tossed wildly between night and day,
or are you yourself
journeying across distance into
the space of what ought to be?

Outside, the rooftop shudders like
world breaking into will,
listen, Galatea,
the sky is abundant and anxious…
ever closer to becoming.

 
Saint Maksim’s Church

Discursive path up
snakes through
karst, clumps of grass and
wild flowers
to the ridge top
dividing seacoast
from valley
stone edifice cast among stones
a rock among rocks
eroding with wind and time
measured on the silent lip
of a brass bell
as if to spite generations
of labor,
intention and prayer.

Still,
from compulsion, obligation,
pity or habit it stands
atop the ridge
ever watchful.

 
Split, Croatia

The smell of the Adriatic
blows across the water
on to the promenade
the sun is too bright
for its own good
a day like this
locked into today
breeds contentment
within its contempt
for expectations of tomorrow.

Time stays here
for awhile anyway
lost amidst narrow passages—
sun warily seeking shadow

winter palms along the promenade

people
people sitting walking
kissing talking
moving into
outside of time
for these moments
impermanent yet full
even with nothing
in particular important.
Nothing matters
except sun and shadow
the sea drifting inland
on the air
and movement stretching across
a human catechism
in response to
sun shadow
air from the winter sea
and perhaps the ambience
of opportunistic pigeons.…

 
A Declaration (Confession?)

A declaration
perhaps
only an observation.

The winter sun
distracted by the sea
and its own surreptitious warmth
can bestow nothing
except beautiful-ness
within
upon
every one of us
whether we are deservedly so,
or not.

Maybe it is the reflection of the sea
or the absence of
clouds
perhaps it is the
graceful motion of palm fronds
setting time rhythm
against the movement of shadow across the old stone city,
the cobble stone walkways
or the trace of the Adriatic sun across the January horizon
or the insistence of water
bubbling carelessly
from a drinking fountain.

 
Poetry in this post: © Charles Marecic
Published with the permission of Charles Marecic