Moirai Over Man

At the harbor.

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Over loose chords at sunrise, we watch him still watching the sea. We whisper Go and morning comes, full and fast with its heat. When morning comes, full and fast with its heat, he stays and seals bark over car horns. Planes tear the sky with him still below it.

Horns in his head, below the tearing sky, he always wanted. Understand? To dream himself a god to fall from the wounded sky like a childhood mango––

to fall again 

he wanted 

from the sky––

But there is no going back how you came in from a drop like that so he will not go back the way he came. But what womb will accept a return? None, but there is room in the belly of the whale.

Here in the belly of the whale shudder boardwalk carts at noon while we whisper, Go as his shadow curls and planes again. His voice still mute, we goad the creatures to pull him back. Birdsong swells toward night––and some relief.

Relieved of his clenched fist, his own song swells near memory while not far away a table is set. But with the beard at his throat, he will not call. With the years in his throat, he will not come. Plane arrows fell daylight as the evening sirens shriek. With evening sirens shrieking enough arrows to end his days, by night we whisper, Go, and we watch him still watching the sea.

Go, pilgrim

We try again. Then, Come, we call, from the sea. Who will wash you now?


Considering Time as a bearded man on a bench by the harbor, I imagined him being watched by his daughters, the Fates, at a distance. Known as the Moirai in Greek mythology, these sisters personify destiny.

Author: Stacey C. Johnson

I keep watch and listen, mostly in dark places.

9 thoughts on “Moirai Over Man”

  1. So cool Stacey! I’ve been reading a bit about the Fates by way of Asimov’s essay on Macbeth, and their role in the play. Not witches per se, more the Fates as you describe here. Co-opted of course for James I, his penchant for witchcraft. I enjoy the way you follow your words, it’s enchanting. And how you poke the ground for sources of inspiration as one might use a divining rod, it’s inspiring. Hand me that stick! Be well.

    1. Bill, this generous comment gives me such a smile this morning. Thank you so much! For this, and for once again reminding me I need to be reading some more Asimov. Be well, friend!

      1. Smiles are the best currency! What I like most about the Asimov essays is his utter clarity and lack of writer ego. He’s just so stinking smart, he makes it easy to read and quite approachable. Would we could do the same for our high school English students, right?! Be well Stacey! Oh and I am set to finish the Bridle book today; thanks for suggesting that. Quite good.

      2. So glad to hear this, Bill! I am glad you are enjoying the Bridle book : )

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