Some say the purest death
is to be ravaged alive
by beasts.
A final communion with creation
and instinct.
I could give myself to the lions
as red men gave their flesh
with joy to birds of prey, a feast
laid high on offering altars of pine,
their bodies rising
bite by bite to fill
the mouth and longing arms
of God.

If I should die on African soil
at the pawing of tigers or men,
I pray the ants will piggyback my
sunpressed crumbs across
each undulation
of the ancient and barebreasted earth
and leave me soul to soil,
to nurse the hungry wild
and mingle with the stars.

c. Pamela Goode


The Little Blue Boat

When I was a girl,
my father gave me a little
blue boat.

It was deep and fully broad enough
to hold two laughing girls
with eight knees and elbows altogether.

There was a rope for towing
out on courses charted by our dreams
and pointing fingers,
or grabbing back
if any current dared to lead his girls astray.

We sat and bobbled,
my sister and I,
in pink puckered suits and salty hair,
in the bottom of the little blue boat,
our toes and fingers grazing on the waves,
alert for treasure
or a moment’s cooling.

And my father pulled the boat
from wave to wave,
ocean to ocean,
sea to sea,
and dream to dream,
urging the bow in every direction on the sea and sky
while we squealed and giggled and pointed out
our pleasures.

And when he had shown us both the
to every corner
of the round and endless earth,

he dropped the line and waded in
to shore,

leaving us each

c. Pamela Goode