Shrieking seagulls swoop
to the white-capped waters
crashing against shuddering pilings.
I watch as tall-masted ships strain
at invisible moorings. The time has come.
I must be again beyond the reef,
out onto the foamy sprawl
where the graceful porpoise arcs
and the whale blows; where moon-bleached clouds
scud soundlessly across a glitt'ring sky.
I must be again at sea.
What's in the seafarer's blood that draws us
to the ocean's vast roll like the tide by the moon is pulled?
Are we sons of that accursed breed, doomed
to e'er seek, ne'er find? What mystery beckons
from that foam-flecked horizon yonder?
As through a fog thinning
I hear raucous laughter and loud singing.
I see her raven-black hair swirling;
her dark eyes teasing, promising, daring;
her bright skirt flaring,
tawny legs baring.
Ah, Conrad and Masefield, you spoke for us well.
When too long ashore we become restive—
I must again feel the rolling swell beneath my feet,
be lifted on the wave's crest; taste the spuime's salty sting;
hear the deck's creak, the wind's moan, the mast's groan
and the pennant's snap.
To not yield to the Call refusing to be denied—
to not kneel to the Great Navigator's mapping—
is to atrophy a part of me.
I must be again to sea!
© By Rod Franklin (AMPAW@aol.com)