Out here in the wide and wet,
the winds still whoosh but the waves
don’t lap. There is no shore,
just the wander and wash of lifting,
dropping, pushing and pulling in any
and no direction at all.
Here floats the castaway. The jetsam
from a tall white cruise ship painted
with gilt names like Society or Propriety.
Or maybe tossed from a tramp steamer like
the S.S. Familia. Doesn’t really matter.
We float out here under sun and star,
among the same sharks, whales,
and schools of shining somethings.
There come times it gets lonely, though,
when all the humanity you hear is
gasping as you swim and swim looking
for a place you can rest your feet,
listening to your voice singing
off-key shanties taught you by angels
inside your head.
One night, I swam near once-distant lights.
A shore of dry earth stretched before me,
where tramplers raised dust and a constant
dissonant holler, angry and confused
as gulls in a hurricane.
I asked did I really want to set
my feet down among that, when out here
I’m free to just watch, and the angels
and I could make up more songs about
what we see, hear and think of it all?
And so we swim.
A little wake-up Free Write Friday (actually Sunday) poem based on a GIF prompt set by my friend Kellie Elmore. This one came straight off the pillow, so you all can decide if it’s the remnant of crazy dream or the truth of first-light consciousness. Does it really matter?