Monday, July 11, 2005
From the Vernal Equinox issue of Bonfire, p. 75:
WHEN'S SHORE LEAVE AGAIN?
Clusters of pinecones against winter green,
backdropped by cloudless blue sky.
Silently, afternoon passes between
the moment and eternity.
Captain, this absence of monsters and rocks--
sailor, shut up. Let it be.
The voyage from nowhere to nothing and back
beaten by drunk, brawling seas,
sometimes will toss up a treasure like this:
just hold to the stillness and see
shadows of what, on the island of peace,
waits with your name in her sigh.
Although I am always interested in poems that deal with awareness, particularly its transient nature, my mind gets a little dulled by overused vocabularly such as "stillness," "moment," "journey," etc. What I like about this poem is the introduction of the sailor's and captian's voices in the second stanza; their interchange stands as a conversation between a young, energetic, easily bored go-getter looking for promised excitement on the "voyage," and the older, wiser, more experienced person who knows that excitement isn't all its cracked up to be, and that "the island of peace" is the ultimate goal.
I also like that the presence on the island whose shadow sighs the sailor's name is a feminine presence. It brings to my mind both the archetypal goddess image and the tradition of sailors viewing their ship as a protective, feminine companion.