1

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

2

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.

3

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

4

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