I found PEACE written on a wall in Philadelphia months ago and believe finding peace in the midst of chaos is truly for the one who can decipher it. In Daughter of the Ocean, I write of watching this elderly woman sleep in peace in an overly populated Starbucks and I ponder if she knows something we do not. She sleeps among the company of strangers is a defining line for her and how peace is somehow mixed into the air we breath or the visions our universe offers us.
Daughter of the Ocean
A year to the day in August, for the second time
I recognize an elderly Indian woman’s abode.
She is honored in an over-sized brown leather chair
at Starbucks on Ocean Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Warm jeweled skin, silvery hair feathered
with black streaks pulled to a quiet coiled
bun, a straight cane propped beside her;
she sleeps among the company of strangers.
No hissing espresso maker, no release of steam,
no calling of orders touch her sense of peace.
The stillness is what she breaths in at the coffee
house, a silky blanket of noise in the midst of chaos.
She appears anesthetized as racing nerves surround her.
The eager retire in beds where she departs through a third eye.
A bed, lying prone, a husband and wife converse of
growing kids and lists of plans to mantle their time alone.
A bed obsolete to a place of love, a sanctuary where music,
high definition television, and internet infiltrate intimacy.
A bed shy to the relationship it holds, life’s trumpeting words
filling the empty space, lectures litigating long forgotten devotions.
The time passes with ripened understanding; the Indian woman
belongs in the coffee shop more than the tired relationship of
communication. She prays to a trillion stars, intently listening internally,
not contemplating opinions, her chest rhythmically rising and falling.
She meditate back through the culture of her mantra--
the elderly in loll, a husband in a bed of denial,
a wife frozen in missionary, a woman standing alone in society,
a naive girl who is beginning her lessons, the birth of her bequeath.
Today, a statuesque Indian goddess balances the notes of Vedas
against her recycled paper coffee cup, a circle with neither
start nor end, neither male nor female, an eternal peace. It is
what most seek-- what lies between the crust and core of being.