Thursday, January 24, 2008

Stillness on the Ship (a poem on grieving and the waters around the Galapagos)

(A poem on grieving and the waters around the Galapagos)

Parts of the day, and nights I watched the sea gulls,
chase the ship, sometimes along side us,
sometimes in back, sometimes perched, as if in the air,
but up there, by the Captains helm,
the gulls would roam, seemingly, uncaring,
staring into his room;
snubbing the whole world, and its land,
under a blue sky looking down onto the blue water.

Now I paced, in the moonlit night, paced
like a child, back and forth
along the side of the ship, going from Island to island,
in the Galapagos (it was September of 2003):
I had a cup of coffee in hand,
left over from dinner, in the lower café.

A few ship staff, climb up and down the white ladders
there wasn’t much of a currant in those waters,
carved in smooth, calm silk—it seemed,
I’ll sleep well tonight this evening,
until the pain of my mother’s death ascends
to my head again: it seep you know,
into my head as if there was a hole, a
hole in the boat, that leads to my brain

but somehow, these gulls and their wings
gliding in the moonlit night, pasted me
on deck, seemed to pacify me, especially when
we went by little islands full of seas and sorts:
I could always hear the times hit the rocks.

NOTE: After my mother died in July of 2003, which seemed to age me 10-years, I took a voyage to several of the Galapagos Islands, I was perhaps not the best of company, for my wife, or passengers, I kept a lot to myself, but my mother either lived with me, or I her for 34-of my years, it was traumatic when she died. In February, 2005, Donald Hall and I would talk briefly, on my loss, actually his book on his wife, helped me during those days. And here in this poem is one of those days on the deck of the ship me and my wife were on during this period. #2178 1-24-2008

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