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By Rodney Rountree
circa 1990
(Poem #20 from "Poem Time Capsule")

I am lost in an angry sea.
The sky is dark.
Black clouds shroud the moon and stars.
All around me the waters rage.
Foaming brine splashes my face.
Salt spray tastes sharp on wet lips and stings blood red eyes.

Rushing winds urge on the swift water and howl in tired ears.
Bones ache with the cold as I lean into the wind.
My vessel tosses in the chop and I pray my anchor holds.
My hands shake and I shiver in the driving rain.

As I grow tired and weak,
I hear voices in the crying wind.
I start and look up,
But no one is there.
In a tempest I am wrapped in solitude.

I peer into the storm,
Straining to see a light, a ship, anything….
The rocking boat, and the noise from the wind and sea, mesmerizes me.
Like a crackling fire –
The water swirls with icy flames of flickering waves
And sparks of salty brine.
White foam rises from the crests of waves,
Like smoke in the whirling wind.

I see shapes and faces in the ocean depths.
Images of home, of a stranger I saw the day before,
An old love with smiling eyes.
They come and go amid the splashing flames.
And my ship strains and groans in the heavy seas.
I hold on tight least I’m swept away.

Wearily I wipe the water from my face
And struggle to clear my eyes.
I look deeply into the dark waters
…As though her eyes.
And I dream.

A gull cries shrilly –
And I awake to the glaring sun and a gentle sea.

This page was last modified on October 9, 2014
Copyright © 2014 by Rodney Rountree. All rights reserved
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