The Sailor's Song
by J.W. Bebout
To stand upon a heaving deck is much to be desired,
But moored I am by muscles stretched, my body worn and tired.
The novel is writ, the ending known, the tide at neap or lower,
Tears of frustration stain weathered skin and rail at fading power.
I left my youth on sunny shores and islands in the sea,
And memories rise on stiffening breeze calling out to me.
But memories will not hoist a sail nor find a guiding star,
So here I stand upon the shore, no more to wander far.
Every year that’s passed made less and less of me,
My heart was given to brown-eyed girls, my tears became the sea.
My corpse has faded, transparent now, unseen by passers-by,
I walk alone upon the jetty, the final journey nigh.
Terns laugh and curse at me, whilst they spiral across the sky.
What would they have me do, I wonder, as I but journey by?
Are we not all travelers together upon this grain of sand?
And will we not all meet again in some diaphanous land?
A child’s tale, perhaps, to hope for more than what you see,
And what could be better, anyway, than to sail upon the sea?
J.W. Bebout is a scientist seeking truth through poetry and literature. Bebout is the author/coauthor of more than two-dozen technical articles and has several poems selected for upcoming publication in the new literary magazine 'Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.'