My Two Selves

He Rushed Forth Without Weapons
by Maj Ragain
In Response to My Two Selves

reading by Archer Senft

My given name is Dylan,
from the Welsh, keeper of the wave,
he who holds the surf
as it crashes into foam.

Early, I grew away from water.
Now, I am wooden,
frozen in the hard grain
of my own doubts, ring after ring
bracing me upright.

Sometimes, I find the heart
to dare with my eyes, square my shoulders,
fill the sail of my skin and ride out
to meet you.  Another day, I turn
inward to the cave of my chest
and hide there till you have gone.

I read the little book of tides,
its scripture, tables, times, high, low.
They are in the moon’s keeping,
as am I.

Know me.  I am Dylan.
Count me.  I am two.

That day I swim with the riptide
beyond the sight of shore,
into the arms of my mother the sea,
when I weave my play
through her long tresses
like a dolphin,
I will be one.

My Two Selves
oil on canvas
62 x 34”

Damen, Jessica & Ragain, Maj, Vision to Verse-Verse to Vision: A Visual and Poetic Dialogue, exhibition catalog, June 15-September 4, 2004

Damen, Jessica & Ragain, Maj, Home To Sargasso Sea-A Long Journey of Loving Collaboration, exhibition catalog, June 1-July 14, 2018, KSU Downtown Gallery, Kent OH, Kent State University School of Art Collection and Galleries and the Wick Poetry Center with support from the Ohio Arts Council. pp12-13