The Maelstrom

The wee boat is painfully simple
But sure, it must have made light work 
Of the pathways of the sea, 
For here it is, blithe boat
Afloat but how it’s powered, 
Heaven knows.  In dreams
I am never party to its passage
I spy it after and only then, aft
Poor stowaway of my own imagining.
 
And as for waves, there are none.  
The sea is glass, the sky is mirrored
Horizons only hinted at
Where moonbeams break and float
And taper away from the sky-hung stone
Moon thrown, the hands that flung
It star-ward, spinning from its sling-shot,
And now in star-ploughed fields of sky
And sailing hand-made Pleiades,
Quiet observers of recurring dreams.
 
The time is in the wee hours
When all good men are asleep
And it would be rude to call or visit
But the scene is steeped with lights
Organic in their origin
And bioluminescence threads the inky sea
With aquamarine and turquoise.
The mareel ocean has stolen the milky way
And cloaked it in water, but it is betrayed
By the very chemistry of life and at times,
As philosophers made mention, death.
 
The man in the wee boat, breathes
Tidal inward outward gentle volumes.  
He’s waiting, and on different days 
I occupy his hands with different things
Sometimes a rope or rigging
Held the same way as London lives
That flood, and fly, fossorial 
Through earth, in shapes their shirts
Held moments ago, when hung 
In wardrobes with solid backs.
In all other things, he differs.
 
His pelagic passage was precise
His mission every single imagining
Is to this mareel-starry maelstrom
Such a one that falls unlike all others.
From a glassy sea, it steals and wheels
Around itself, and is no threat to mariner
There are no rocks or deadly straits
The depths are bright and shining
Not black like Charybdis briny belly, 
The sound is murmuring, or chattering
Not wild like Corryveckan’s crazed wining.   
 
The sailor, aphonic, laconic, and wise
Watches my maelstrom spinning and spun
The walls of this whirlpool are words
Or are feelings or sentiments silenced.
My sentiments tumbling, jumbled up meanings
A whirling of words and whispering wishes
That flicker like fishes of silver and sorry
For things that I cannot unsee or unsay
Or were lost in the moment, l’esprit d’escalier
This maelstrom is every word, spoken or heard
And I, confused author of word-heavy water.
 
The sailor, at ease with his mariner’s missive
I with my fear that I’ll drown or explode
With the trying to order the word-heavy water
We’re at odds, but I’m willing him win
In this battle, I’d rather give in
The Pleiades watch this Pelagianic defeat
A wire, a line, plumbing depths that I’d rather not
Fathom, for fear of discovering wrecks
Sinks to the maelstrom, draws out its catch
Words that cling to the sky-yearning wire
That ring, like clear bells, a new song.

I love this night traveller,
He steels me and stills me
And conquers this mind-filling maelstrom
One gaze is enough, and I'm willing
To enter the storm of my thoughts
To succumb to one hope
That these thoughts are worthy
Of writing, of finding, unwinding
Unknotting the fetters, and binding
The worst of my fears.  
 
 
 

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