A ripened sea

A November squall, given heavy rain, darkened sun,
Waves clacked on the rock plates, whitecaps
Rooted on the tall tops; wind’s noise making a rasping
Sound — rip current spading the gravelly sea
Bottom, digging digging; gulls nestled on the lug, the
Shafted thermals. I, in my skiff, buried in the milk
White mist, tacking sloppily in the surf, the heavy salt.

More than any landlubber, I was nicking and slicing
Neatly in the cold smell of brine — yet the
Squelch and slap of the squall cut me to an edge;
Between my palm and fingers, the oars rested,
I’ll dig with them till my straining rump is among the coved
Walls. My head held high in the starlight, as I
Tasted a piece of bread and philandered in a few sips

Of drinking water. And there I was, toasting the night,
Packed deep in sleeplessness and cold, being
Driven to the coast and stern-lipped rocky crags;
Yet I rowed with the thorn pricks of the wind on my back,
I felt my spirits disgorged. And then a clear light leaning
In from the sea — like poetry of freedom; I ate
The bright day from the crockery of the dawn.

Round the coast with strokes fermenting in the sea,
And then the cove — I felt like crying, the air was
Thickened with the sun and sounds of my village
Waking; over the hill, my cottage warm with
Family and a fire. I lept from my skiff in a haste, in
A thrill, my tattered clothing hard as a knot; I had beaten
The sea itself; no longer reposed in the heaving deep.

Copyright © 11/05/17 lance sheridan®