Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sea Dirge (an exercise in modernist poetry)

Let me sing my song, a tale for all to know
In salty tongue, the unkind days
The harshness that had to be lived
And the strong longings I abided by
On a frail boat these have I borne
With treacherous billows, I had to suffer
Keeping vigilant watch at the prow
Brittle craft against perilous cliffs.
Oh, the cold froze my senseless toes
Even the ropes chilled; words froze
Wrenched my heart and hunger stirred
In sea-sick misery I mused
How lucky they are on firm sod

I despaired in the harshness of an indifferent sea
Endured the merciless cold, oh, what wretch am I
Away from my beloved
My face bearded with froth, in the roiling sea
Nothing was heard ‘cept for the churning waters
The creaking rigs, then I think of home
Sea-birds’ boisterous din was solace
The chatter of the gull was gaiety
Their song in the wind was a paean to my ears

Howling gale against the jagged wall, like a sea eagle
With ruffled mane, plummeted with a shrieking scream
Fateful claws like scythes open to the quick
Thus my deliverer came with violent sweep
In the watery fields

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