Boomers on a Cruise
“Everything, O monks, is
burning.” – Buddha
The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece,
where we've obtained on credit cards
one tapestry of silky fleece,
two icons, three amphora shards.
Two noble truths: That life is pain
and that our cravings are the cause.
But here we've all grown young again
and laughter routs the cosmic laws.
On Delos, once a treasure town,
grey lizards flick the drying dust,
where once ambitious Greeks burned down
in anger, ignorance, and lust.
Our ocean-going steel cocoon
spins out the silk of innocence.
Only the water and the moon
bring whispers of impermanence.
On Santorini, once the home
of vampires, we look out to sea
from underneath a bluer dome,
and call this noon eternity.
The sun melts down in tropic gold
like Strega in a cocktail glass.
The moon and moon-drawn tides are old
and, like the dinosaurs, will pass.
We build up shelves against the tide:
our luxuries, our work-out tapes.
But slowly we burn down inside,
and find there are no fire escapes.
2002; originally printed in Iambs & Trochees.
Reprinted by permission of the author.