As I Tremble Watching My Son Sleep By The Sea
He knows he must always step into a rainbow through its center.
This is one of the many lessons the sea has taught him.
He is only four years old and already very wise.
Each moment envelops him like a drop of dew
that suspends his world within its soft membrane.
Sometimes he hears the stars sing. When he sleeps,
wise embassies of abalone, brachiopods and bivalves
float up to show him the way back to the bottom
of his unformed thoughts.
When he sleeps, the roots of his being sink deep into sand
until they press against the surface of the world.
There, they drink the ichor of his dreams
while the world dangles from a silver thread
that weaves the minerals to the stars, binds the beetle to its leaf,
the spider to its web, and the planets to their wheeling paths.
Its exquisite tension tingles in his fingertips.
And should I touch him before he awakes,
I know the world and I will disappear.
David Luntz has work forthcoming in X-R-A-Y Lit and Best Small Fictions Anthology 2021.
Poems and short fiction have appeared in Euphony Journal, Orca Lit, Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Word Riot and other print and online journals.
Author’s Comments:The poem began with watching my young son play at the beach. Something about how the combination of light, water, sand gave him so much joy made me see how happiness at root is so simple and needs only these basic natural elements. It was as though he had a kind of knowledge and wisdom (maybe unconscious) that adults lack. The piece was influenced by the sea poems of Hart Crane (“Voyages” and “At Melville’s Tomb”) and by Alice in Wonderland for the “dream within a dream” suggestion at the poem’s end.”
Image Credit: A little boy runs through the water (Pxhere) creating an abstract rainbow (pngfree.io) in his wake while balancing the planet Earth (pngtree) in his hand. In the magic of his dreams, a spray of stars (imgbin)—colorized—rises from his other hand.