Diana Raab

Being a Monk on Big Sur for a Month

One can lose oneself seated 
on this Big Sur cliff—
a turning inside out of sorts,
beside a rustic log cabin
created by long-gone friends
who believed creativity birthed in isolation.

A surrounding path begs for meditative mindful steps 
beneath bowing branches,
as visitors nudge night crawlers left behind
by Steinbeck boys in museums.

I used to take my thoughts there,
catch glimpses of magic 
on moss-covered benches,
hidden in pine needled paths.

In the distance, an ocean washes woes away 
and hugs hungry hearts,
while braided memories 
are written with her crystals
in glistening waters 
weaving disconnected stories.

This cabin has no phone
no TV nor human utterances—
one only hears a purring forest
to embrace lonely souls like me.

There’s a universe of possibilities here, 
a real-life force—Pacific powered inspiration—
as cabin walls capture creative bursts 
and bleed onto the pages of our minds,
in a place where Nin and Miller 
made deep penetrating love.

Hearts come alive here 
loneliness evaporates 
like whiskey in open canteens,
on this edge of Big Sur.

So yes, we can lose ourselves
on this Big Sur cliff
once turned inside out,

we can also find ourselves
and our long-gone friends.

After the Edson Smith Photo Collection Big Sur. This poem first appeared in Front Porch Review and is included here with permission

Diana Raab, MFA, PhD, is a poet, memoirist, blogger, and award-winning author of twelve books and numerous articles and poems. Her latest books are Writing for Bliss and its Companion Journal. She blogs for Psychology Today, The Wisdom Daily, Thrive Global and others. She frequently speaks and facilitates workshops on writing for healing and transformation. Her chapbook, “An Imaginary Affair,” a tribute to Pablo Neruda, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2022. Visit: dianaraab.com.