Friday, July 16, 2021


The riptide seizes my melancholy frame of mind,
bent on a refractory gaze
and lost in waves repeating their signature
on a dotted line of shore.
I am captive of the moon’s possessive marriage
with the tides.

A wave breaks,
rolls itself into defeat,
splinters my matrix of bone
and its attendant marrow of memory.
Beads of cut-glass sun
fold into the white, rounded realm of surf
and shatter my parallax view of life.

In this dissolution,
I am a whalebone soul
spewed from Ahab’s gullet,
obsession with mundane circumstance
broken into a thousand liberties
carved by the sailor’s slipknot heart
that fashions scrimshaw with dexterity.

A thousand bones of beauty
lie on the beach, all of them pale points
and lines, shaved into this idle art of the sea:
a pipe a horn, a whale,
figures molded into eternity.

I am broken by the tides,
but in the sea’s exaltation, free.
The scrimshaw is me.

~William Hammett

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1 comment:

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