The voice of the sea is no mystery to me,
A sailor by trade and by traveling.
Inside of the storm with the fortune to be
Had my stomach and brain near unraveling.
I was faced by a wall that was near ten feet tall
Of stygian brine and of sea foam
But as we had hours to go in the squall
We could wake up aground or in Stockholm
The night was so bleak and the sky was so cold
If nature did care 'bout us living
Respect it would have for our captain that's old
And forget to take more than it's giving
I recounted the stories of shipwrecks at sea
That I'd heard as a drunk adolescent:
Titanic, Estonia, the Whydah Gally
And others with stories still present
Of course there were some I'd forgotten about,
Inevitable truth, but sad.
My mind in affray with the wind blowing loud
Saw a fishbowl with God going mad.
But stoic I stood at the lifelines with interest,
Watching the waves thrash around
I made sure that no one was up in the crow's nest,
For he'd surely be flung to the ground.
A hand grabbed my shoulder and rested its weight;
The presence of one human being
In the light of the lantern there stood my shipmate
Come to take part in my seeing
I think he had come to relieve me that night,
Battling against his volition
"The stars aren't just so you navigate right-
There's some that will grant you your wishes."
I wanted to tell him these words he would love,
A proverb obscured for its brightness
As if some odd twinkling from miles above
Would offer us this little kindness
Him being not absent the coast that matured
As locals by one sailed away,
The longing for salt in his heart never cured,
Resigned to spend most future days
As keeper of signals and lights that stretch out
Over water to hold off the wrecks
The spotlight should cut through the dark like a shout
Through the nights that fall over the deck
One towering lighthouse estranged from the town
And everyday fishers' harpoons
Would leave me to breathe and to cherish this ground
And survey the meaningless blue