Searching for Shelley Blank
“I am the daughter of Earth and Water, /And the nursling of the Sky; /I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores; /I change, but I cannot die” (Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Cloud”).
Oh Shelley, my Shelley, too soon the fates
have welcomed you into their inscrutable paths,
oh too soon, too soon even before I knew you,
open to your painful, crooked wisdom,
the early wanderings, running away from all
between Los Angeles and New York City’s garment district.
This afternoon in Culver City, I’m searching for you again
and where is your guidance now, oh Quaker for life?
When last we met after Quaker worship,
I felt your prickly beard and lips
on my face and you saying, as if a musical refrain,
“I love you, Pal.”
Today, guided by the poet, Shelley
I’m searching again for you, Oh Shelley,
to lighten your journey into the underworld,
praying that you will
cross that polluted river,
accompanied by the great Mozart
as you listen to the trills and arpeggios
from his piano sonata in A major,
hearing the opening theme, it’s grazioso
sounding in your body and soul
repeating, melodic and sweet, singing its variations
to lead you across the underground river
playing harmonic elegance in the final march,
mystic chords of the beginning and the end
a prophetic delight floating into your soul
to vibrate a sustained, elongated chord of peace.