summer wake - floating through southcentral alaska
Real Eye Memory

I dreamt I woke up
for the first time today,
and that everything I had ever known
somehow never was-
everything I had ever learned
had to be drastically changed.

It all seemed so real,
especially the sun,
which was throbbing the skin on my face
and giving me a headache.

I thought I saw you there,
but it only looked like you
from a distance.

There was Something I was
Supposed to Remember.
I feel like I fell asleep again
when I awoke and
Forgot.
Warming Up To You

I'm learning to look at you directly.
It's difficult,
because all this time
I've absorbed your light
vicariously.
In the face of you
there is beauty and brilliance
which bedazzles this body in motion
with flickers and freckles
to shine the surfaces
and every beneath.
And the hem I can see
dresses you to furthest reach
that I can almost touch
but feel the heat.
Forgive me for staring,
I'm blinded by you
only so long and as far
as I open my eyes
to your novelty.
Soon I will close these shutters
to reflect
in sunspotted recollection of yo
June 26, 94     ...    Morgan James Strub    ...      July 1, 94
Friday.  July 8, 94

Today is a bright and shiny one.  It's a different world when the sky is clear, the sun is up, and the afternoon breeze hasn't kicked in yet.  And the bugs are away for now; this is an ideal time.

     I'm cooking lunch now:  macaroni and cheese, sans milk.  There always seems to be one ingredient missing when I make this; last time it was the butter.

     I made it to the store Tuesday night when Robin and I went into Homer to deliver fish.  I rely on the midweek run to town in order to get my supplies and run whatever errands Robin gives me the time for.  It's usually a speedy situation; get in, take care of business, and then get out before the afternoon breeze hits and trembles up the bay with fat swells and current.  We have a small skiff, so it's important to motor on calm water.

     I sit on top of the fish tote near the bow, usually blocking most of Robin's field of vision.  I try to occupy as little space as possible, which is difficult because I am somewhat big, and I do not shift my weight or move; only to ride with the motion of the skiff over a large swell, or let the boat pull me into a turn.

     It's an incredible trip across the bay, and I enjoy giving in to the sensation of it.  On the way to Homer, I usually watch the water, which- depending on the conditions of the weather- can be smooth with rhythmic pulses of movement; the sun sparkling and dancing across the surface along the bow.  Or it can be dark and choppy; the swells coming up only moments before we ramp them and slap over the other side in a momentary downthrust, looking ahead to the next swell, which could spray water through the bow buoys into my face and across my front.

This I watch as we near the points of Homer Spit and the harbor; noticing the outside dock pilings and the massive, anchored barge grow larger and come into detail as we maintain an average of 3000 RPMs.

Heading out of the harbor after our town chores are complete and I have drank my triple mocha and smoked my cigarette, I can not help but stare across Kachemak Bay into the awesome range of mountains that bound up from the distant shore.
It is incredible for me to realize that I live and work at their feet.  There is nothing like them in all the places I have been before.  There is peak after peak by peak, most capped with snow- some near dry on top.  Only one mountain I know by name.  That is Poot's Peak, which as people say, looks like a Hershey's kiss.  It stands almost on display in the foreground of the others, and is almost completely bereft of snow now.

To the further east on this range and higher near the peaks, I can see Grewingk Glacier from the bay, massively covering miles of frozen earth.  From certain vantage points, it looks so chillingly inviting and majestic in its shiny whiteness.

The peak I've had my eye on lately is near to where I stay in Halibut Cove.  I watch this peak as a landmark as Robin and I speed across the waterscapes back to home.  This one is so lushy green and dense with Alders, that I fix my gaze on it whenever in it's view.  I hope to climb its trail one Sunday, when I can give it my whole day.

I am learning my landmarks better and sense of place here, both geographically and spiritually.  I must buy a map next visit to town to study what I am in the middle of.  Meanwhile, I go through the maps of my soul, digging out the dirt that distracts the big picture, and building roads into my own quiet solitude and sharing, social meeting points.

I spend time at the dock with Dan, another setnetter, and we drink beer and smoke and talk of whatever comes into our heads regarding work, fish, weather, news, and the like.  His two children, Coleman and Emily, are fun to be with and I share my Sega videogame or whatever I may bring over.  Coleman is 12, Emily, 9.  They are working the whole season with Dan to make some summer money and keep them busy.  They are both full of spirit and character, keeping Dan on his toes and getting him ruffled often.

Dan came here from Michigan about 15 years ago to stay.  He has thick brown hair and beard with a warm, grizzled countenance to match.  An outdoorsman by all means, he also has a gleeful laugh which seems to unmatch him until you know him better.

Yesterday we had watermelon- an Alaska watermelon being small and less sweet, and we ate and laughed and said hello to passersby on the dock and watched those trying to tie up their boats strangely and told funny stories of past and present.  Kevin, a cove local, came by and had his stories of moose and bears and sportsmanship.  I went back after a while feeling tired, cold and hungry, but having enjoyed the visit.

I have been wearing myself out more lately, and I must remember to rest and take it easy.  My back is getting pained, and that is new for me.  I don't want any accidents which would make it constant.

It's naptime now, I think.  I have two hours or so until the next set.  Tonight the nets come out of the water, and I hope to make it over to The Saltry for company.
B e h o l d e n
Next I come around,
there'll be flowers in my heart to give;
sweetness in my breathing voice-
and they will be true;
fresh and raised from depths for you,
where gardens wait in humble-soughten harvest.

When the tide brings me in,
some sun will shine the surfaces to share,
in ripples and reflection;
maybe golden streaks at very least
imparted through my hair-
and not a touch of ostentation
but a smile warmed-
and for your pool a star in every hand.

As these words reach your eyes-
and further in
to each and every listening surmise,
I send music that will settle
and soothe the resonance
created on your steps in welcoming embrace.

-
for Dawna ...  July 20, 94  ...  Homer, Alaska
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