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The Mariner's Bread

Kenneth has a taste for abstract/prose poetry as well as the comical side of life. 23-years of writing for a newspaper has served him well.


" . . .and here, I sit. I roam. I gaze at the circle of the seas and

without seeing life in them and wondering if and when they may

end . . ."

— Unknown

I smell my sweat that grows in my wrinkled hands

No matter. She's a memory and I have my ship

On this last voyage, strange. I own no other lands.

So why dear innocence, must we make this

dreadful trip?

Dashing up and swallowed down . . .we hold the line

Salt and salty talk gets a blood so hot

Cursed be her threat--no time to sit, sip or shine.

I am what I am, no more. No less. So what?

My sole ally in twenty voyages true, maybe more

Ol' Cracker, now going on 14 harsh years.

Myself, I see the sod, the sheep, a drink, a last door.

But she sits in dark closet fine and counts her shiny tears.

All this old Irishman asked at voyage end

Is a bite of bread, maybe a crumb

My first mate, Karl, he looks gray and terribly thin.

While she pouts her girlish eyes while I was

Made to look the role of a roving bum . . .

I sip a hefty swig of vintage ale and tell you about reality

I would lie, but my own soul would hate it.

Another hefty swig, and you want me to name some infidelity?

Some rope burns, another wheel turn, a plate of day-old grits.

All that I want from my master's log--is not a beef steak or meat of hog

Is just a cut of bread--the bread that wafts through the town

Whilst I just turn my wheel, stand firm on heels, and avoid the bog.

And in my dream, I see "her" again, hair so combed and legs so long.

She's no princess, fellas. I tell you the truth, my ship mates so true

She's the fox, a phantom light, a shadow in river's light.

While her words from tongue are just lies and soggy dew.

Oh, for a crust of her table's bread, I dream in April's plight.

Round trip, this time will be final, Karl, ol' buddy of mine

You've been true, ol' parrot friend from year to year.

And even now, Yancey Blue shall tie main line.

And go to see "her" get my bread and kiss her head

goodbye . . .


© 2018 Kenneth Avery

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