Tag Archives: sailing

Sailing to the Islands: rubai / rubaiyat

Across the western sea the islands gleam
like jeweled notes that play, or so it seems,
a wild and rugged song, steeped in romance
and stories that delight the night with dreams.

The winds, when they are willing, swirl in dance
in steps not of America, or France,
but in a strange and sensual caprice;
they tempt the stranger to but take a chance.

The clouds above lay soft as down, or fleece,
and slowly billow as their grays increase,
’til full of rain and summer’s violent storms,
they empty out their content in release.

The long horizon stretches far ahead
across the line of sight like a pale thread,
and seems almost a never-ending band
that ties the rolling waves to the sky-bed.

At dawn and dusk, the edges of the land
seem to forget which part is foam or sand,
and blur into a gray and purple stream
that mixes light and dark along the strand.

15 MAY 2017

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Finding the Ocean

I have lingered long by the endless shore,
voice lost to the surf, that infinite shift
that pulls itself from the littered ocean floor
and upon which my thoughts float free and drift;

for many years I saw only the edge
of it, against the long horizon’s line,
and heard, in the haunting seagull’s solfege
a wistful song that sounded much like mine.

I could construct a raft, I thought, and tack
against the wind and storm, to other shores;
perhaps there I would find what here I lack –
a quiet port that the busy world ignores.

But now, upon the distant coast, I see
A figure in the wind that looks like me.

10 JUL 2003

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