deepundergroundpoetry.com

weather-eye blind

 
been eight months away with my boat, always close to her
eight months living bare foot with a sailor’s knife on my belt
the days calculated in distance to travel, food stowed and fuel in the tanks
my neck cricked permanent by my favourite bunk
days and days without talking, then wild nights in ports you never heard of
with people I’ll likely never meet again, sea-eyed types going somewhere else, for ever

got stories to tell of line squalls and night-time bar-crossings
of bad diesel and good men
of an engine that wouldn’t quit, right up until that night that it did
of perfect sailing breezes under full press of sail, with so far to go that the maths didn’t matter
of how I grew a heart for my boat, if a man can do that truly
got to know her better than ever woman I ever laid down, and sure did treat her better
my little boat that always took me there, and swung to her anchor so solid
that a frightened sailor could sleep awhile
even when it blew fifty knots, the hard teeth of the frozen places in it

those are the stories
those stories to die by

the albatross that followed me all across the sea
they know those stories
they glide and wheel on those stories
and not a word said

and then without blinking, just a few short days ago, sailed her in to one last harbour
tied her up, cleaned and fussed her
then put that life away

shaved myself sensible
undid the knife from my belt, so marked by where that knife had sat that I had to buy a new one
then put on company shoes and a company haircut
and now here I am, six stories up
in an office downtown
planning my next big dig-job, planning money, talking money, risk, overheads
and how we’ll burn diesel, days, men

the people around me are pale as death, working stiffs true true
dusk to dawn types

outside my window is city noise and lights-to-lights stalled traffic

I try not to look out there
keep my eyes from the window, before I swallow my reflection
and wonder again  
which way the wind is blowing
hemihead
Written by hemihead (hemi)
Published
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