Saturday, September 21, 2013

I set sail not because

I set sail not because it is a kind sea,
or an angry sea, or a beguiling sea,
or a wise sea, or a blind sea,
or a lonely sea.

For the sea is none of those things;
and the sea is all of those things.

Know, rather, that I set sail
because it is the sea,

and because I have sailed
all the days of my life,

and the sea has borne me so well.


Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

High Waves

The wind tore the mainsail and the rope broke,
swung the boom and tipped us. I lost the helm!
We floundered, so I’m sorry.
Then, lifted by the swell, I grabbed the wheel again,
made her steady and got her back on course.

The sea clutched the keel and swung her ‘round,
crossways to the current. We lost the jib but
were righted by the well, again corrected.
So I’m sorry, but you must trust me with my ship.
I have no control over this ocean, you see,
nor the flotsam and storms spread upon it.

But I know her pitch and roll, can name her every line.
You haven’t sailed the seas I have, don’t know my charts
so don’t pretend to read the compass.
The tack she sails is mine. I know her every rope
and the cargo that she carries is my own life’s hope.

Copyright 2008 – Tall Grass & High Waves, Gary B. Fitzgerald

Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

On a roll tonight! TWO-FER!!!


We’re a ship in the stream
whose cargo has shifted.
The sea floods the gunwales,
the timbers shiver and shudder.
We run unbalanced and listing.

We roll hard on the beam,
by the wild ocean lifted.
On the deck the sea funnels,
we fervently trim sail and turn rudder,
fight storm waves rising, resisting,
but to starboard still lean.

Until the ballast in the hold
is made steady, we shall fail.
We shall never be ready
and go down in the cold.
Call ye the Captain and ring ye the bell.
Drop the sails, boys,
and move the damn cargo
or plan to be drinking in hell.

The ropes become ever more many,
the sails taller and wider and mean,
yet our sailors ever less seaworthy.
So we toss in the lurch and swing
in the swell, flounder in the lee,
and will never be right ‘til we’re listening.

Copyright 2012 – Mortal Remains, Gary B. Fitzgerald

An Old Friend

Visited a dear old friend today,
been a long time since I’ve seen her.
It was good to see her again. I missed her.
I think she was glad to see me too.
She gave me a little wave and we embraced.
She’s been a friend of the family, I’m sure,
for many, many years,
since I was a child at least,
and our affection was never misplaced.

As lives change and fortunes drift
it’s good to have a friend who’s always there,
someone constant and wise who offers
no rejection and never changes,
to fill your cup with a helping hand.

It was good to see her again…always the same
in her wrinkled old blue and white shift.
But though welcoming and willing to listen,
somewhat nervous, never still, ever tending
her garden, feeding her birds or, with delicate care,
her seaside souvenirs she continuously rearranges,
always fussing over and smoothing the sand.

Copyright 2010 – Ponds and Lawns: New and Corrected Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

William Michaelian said...

Gary, thank you.

Since “I set sail not because” is for my mother, who is now very near the end of her life, and spoken by me on her behalf, I will follow with an earlier and possibly familiar poem for my father, who left us back in 1995:

The Age of Us All

My father is a boat
no longer fit to sail.
He sits in the harbor,
rocking in a wooden chair
by the fireplace,
waiting for the tide
to take him out.
If both of us survive,
come spring, I’ll lift him
out of the water
and scrape the barnacles
from his feet.
He will like that,
and I will too.

January 27, 2000

Ed Baker said...

Visiting the old house yesterday
I swear I saw my mother dead now 7 years
I guess that she came back to do some cleaning

(now ? I'm updating my wlll, my PoA AND my Living Will,
putting together The Book, getting various 'stuff' into joint names/ownership
getting my mss and published books into this computer

tweaking and finishing and abandoning 400 3-d pieces

organizing 2500 sketches, crayons and paintings...
signing and dating and naming.... things..

as if any-of-it matters .... or will

the sun is breaking through
clouds in the sky birds flying
in a southerly direction squirrels
squirreling fig rat again off with a ripe one
this morning's morning coffee working and
no toilet paper !

[et ceteras]

(don't mind me.... I just made that up as I/things were going along through my mind/memories

then ..... gone.

William Michaelian said...

Gone, but welcome here.

Thanks, Ed.

erin said...

ah, and it was here upon this sea that i was moved to touch your shoulder)))))


William Michaelian said...

And I’m lucky and the better for it, Erin.