The Mariner's Bread
" . . .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
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 . . .
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Kenneth Avery