Canada curls over and winks quietly
at San Juan Island in the Northwest.
The island is six miles by twelve.
San Juan lies here with other islands –
forests and meadows dream over water.
He steps from the ferry to town dock.
Glad to be home from the mainland.
He dwells here under passacaglia rhythms
of clouds above melancholias of sea birds.
The winds that blow blow from China,
bring chants and ghosts from Manchuria.
He dwells in the heart of Friday Harbor town,
with his buddha smile, goatee, and spectacles.
On weekends he'll be found in the open air,
strolling galleries or considering antiques.
Rare ones live without questioning the weather.
In the nursing home, he worked decades tenderly,
answering eyes with companionship and easement.
He is so far from Arkansas and so away in time.
I knew him back then before he found paradise,
before he came to sea wind and olde shoppes.
I'm glad he is there in that strange place.
I'm glad he is sane just like he used to be.
Remembering him, I tumble into far years
jumbled with islands of days without dying.
A scribbler of lines is not sane and is no buddha.
He is memory, distance, and a beautiful psychosis.