nantucket sleigh ride

longboat pulled along a liquid sea
we, like ghosts of whalers before, were 
mounted upon splintered seats
splinters in our fingers from rowing oars
the whale pulled us windward with a tremendous hate,
its tail flung water
white-capped waves to capsize
alone the whale swam, on a mission of its own
pulled us, pulled us, through the dark and wet
as we rode, images of you dear maggie 
appeared on the waves crest
you seemed to speak to me, “i love you samuel, infinitely”
your voiced muffled as our longboat continued 
to sway,
to creak
the whale nodded its head, as if agreeing 
to continue the chase
the oarsmen’s hands, now bleeding,
the harpooner summoned
readied in the bow of the New Bedford’s longboat, 
bloodstained shirt, 
calloused hands, 
weathered face, 
oil-stained boots 
his life’s station
we are here because of you, whale
the nantucket sleigh ride continued
years of whaling rides upon my dreams, 
the nightmares.
nighttime screams
i call out for you maggie and our children, 
to draw you all to my heart
but after nearing the shore to see you all, 
i row back out to a ghost, a whaling ship
unfaithful in love, kept secret by the 
un-mourning sea water
a landlubber’s life a student, 
the whaling life a tutor
deep with its first dead, like the lamb 
lead to slaughter
robbing families of their dear ones,
like grains of aged sand
runs in the veins of darkened water
after taking its first whaler’s life, 
it hastens another
the ones who quickly suspend their 
wayfarer deeds, now ended
it is in the small things that I am blind
our children’s first steps, 
their first words,
holding you close
no longer wait for thee
somewhere, somehow, the joys that I knew
rode out with the tide
i have often wondered, 
what did you see in me?
was it my touch?  
my smile? 
now all hidden, from the beauty of your eyes
my thoughts of you quickly disappear, 
even if only for a moment
as we continue the chase 
“mr. right whale, 
we’re going to be picking an iron harpoon out of your liver!”
“come about all ye oarsmen, come about…
Copyright  © 05/08/2013 Ðark Ṝoasted Ƣoetry®

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