Sea Story – July 1971

In going through a box of papers I came a cross a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. I was using a cheaper, yellow copy for many of these – the paper hasn’t yellowed with age. Enjoy 🙂

Sea Story – July 1971


it’s been a rough passage

lies & all the lightening skies

I keep wondering when the southbound breeze

will kick me in the head & knock me to my knees

it tries & tries

so hard to please

dangling sweet smelling smiling hope before my eyes

but I must maintain my mainsail

avoid the sacrilege

of sacrifice

bear up proud & strong

to keep sailing toward no end in sight

the trunks have been abandoned long ago on the wharf

all are empty now

looted of their costumes

I must sail with sails my disguise

I must ride the blizzard inside & out

finally realizing that time has come

to hunt down the criminal vagabond

who attacked my fine silks with spilt wine

dirtied my sparkling mirror with

the expression of his eyes

all ravaged & hopelessly left loose

lying on the edge of time

while I so calmly remained removed & longed

to keep sailing toward no end in sight.


sultry slow children playing

back & forth

running from the tents

to the trees

unaware of their warm ease

as the sky pans by

a million fathoms empty of stars & moon

but full of powdered blue aside

no outside

clouded sprightly &

moving the grass

whispered at last

that windows could be opened

for this sailor to peer outside for awhile

there are no mistakes to plead correction for

only moments of flight

to long reflying for

only knots to wish retying for

only by gone crying & laughing

to languish in with pianos playing

over & under every longing & wish

we feel to return to dry land

violin strings sea storm

harp winds wailing

forever & ever warm wind sailing

towards the new ending

towards the maybe loving making in some Singapore shanty

that cannot open its doors

till we arrive with no more longing

to keep sailing toward no end in sight

flashing flashing fitfully warning

with sudden outbursts of lighthouse lunacy

trying so hard to cut the night in two

hoping for some sounding to come rebounding

to warn of hidden dangers murky depth

& silent glowing slithering by happiness

luring the wary into nets of stars

flying them off at a thousand miles per minute

toward the fatal swiftness of the sun


we played at being hopelessly lost one dusty morning

snow like dust on the decks

spinning down from eternity

we played at being hopelessly lost

our prow pushing forward into thick air

seemed to be leading nowhere

foreward foreward

the icy wind pushed us

the sails frozen such that we couldn’t take them down

foreward foreward

steering deeper deeper into

the equator’s sunshine blizzard

foreward foreward

following the smiling nude sea

into some deathless canyon ribboned on all sides

with impenetrable sheets of snow & rain

& laughing surprise packages as we each

opened our eyes to another fine morning

here in my little room

so far from the sea

so free from the sea

so removed in anguish from the diadems

of speech that somehow I manage

to keep sailing toward no end in sight

One of the drawbacks in transcribing these pieces has been the loss of enjambments 😦 Even if I duplicate them here – they disappear when I cut & paste a version into another program – Word Press strips everything away except italics. With the old typewriters I would only have to turn the roller one line down & start without having to go back to the beginning edge.

I have to admit I was probably a bit made with enjambments anyway but I loved the way they look don the page, I loved how you drop a word down on the next line, or phrase, for emphasis so it was like an aside to what was just read, as opposed the the start of a whole new stanza.

In looking back at Sea Story I see it influences by Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker’s lyrics. There’s no denying ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ plays into this piece – it was a poem I studied in high school.    It’s hard to miss all the alliteration ‘sweet smelling smiling hope’ plus some sonic wordplay -‘the sacrilege of sacrifice.’ I lived by the ocean but rarely wrote about the sea.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? 

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