Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Stormy Offering



Child of Winds

In my age of innocence, I freely embraced
The trades, riding a soft, sweet westerly.
Lovingly caressed at first by my friend,
I was unprepared when it went cyclonic.

I was laid waste, swallowing bitter dregs.
My bloodshot, tear-stained eyes left me
Blinded; that twister was but an outlier
Of a raging, pounding apocalyptic storm.

The fearsome wall hit me, shoveling all
Before it, plowing furrows across
The landscape of my red clay heart,
Ripping holes in my woven cotton soul.

I saw the decimation, seeming random
Slaughter, ships great and humble
Shattered, hardwoods splintered,
Pine laid low, so many matchsticks.

Scattered, smothered in the tempest,
I was carried up, up, and out, anon:
Spewed forth and falling, screaming,
Thinking wind itself to be my enemy.

I dared not dream as I plummeted
That I might survive, live to sail
Again, if never to be fully healed,
But here I am at the windlass.

My heart flies high on the foremast,
Double-sheet bend secure, exposed,
Slapped by every passing fancy,
Be it breeze, gust, gale, or typhoon.

Still, the knot holds, and I endure,
My colors showing honest agony,
Even as they are whipped to and fro,
Child no more, I fetch yonder horizon.



4 comments:

Bruce Taylor, a.k.a. Catalyst said...

That's a wonderful poem!

Karen said...

You know, this is an outstanding metaphor for personal survival and tenacity, but beyond that, it could easily be the anthem of New Orleans and all of the South laid waste by Katrina.

As any good poem must be, this is multi-layered, easy to personalize, and filled with images that pull us in. I'm glad the speaker survives to sail again.

NCmountainwoman said...

Oh, so descriptive. Frightening yet reassuring. Need I say I really loved this one? You do indeed have the gift.

Jo said...

Powerful and poignant, Michael. The most powerful phrase is the last one...filled with hope and promise!