Poem — Maine Song

A few readers have requested that I post some of my poems here, presumably because they found something they liked in Cave Paintings (see Books button at top of page). I thought I’d comply every now and then to placate the hordes of poetry lovers who have swarmed Amazon to buy copies of the collection. There are just so many voracious poetry lovers out there, it’s hard to keep them at bay.

So, for starters, here’s “Maine Song,” one of my more tightly structured pieces, with lots of internal rhymes and imagery inspired by my father, whose favorite poem was John Masefield’s “Sea Fever.”

Maine Song #4

I want to see those shattered rocks again
where sea and sky in seeming torment
batter the land
where the spume scent drags the heart
to the far horizon
and the wind hides choruses of
ancestral sea-captains.

I want to see the bent Scotch pine
knitting the tips of cliffs together against the wind
even when there is no wind
and the sun shines on gold-black sea grass tresses
that mold the sinews of low tide terrain.

I want to step through the cabin door
into the morning merriment of gulls
the honk and throb of lobster boats
and the buoy bells
where the salt smell sharpens the spring air
and soft shell crabs emerge from their sandy lair
to sidle across miniature rock-encrusted beaches.

I will take refuge inside that cabin
while gusts of unimaginable rain assault the walls and roof
amid glimpsed veins of far-off ocean lightning
and remember then the crews of storm-thrown
thrumming merchant ships
climbing swells and smashing the waves
wind-blown in perilous management
of forces far beyond the control of men.

I want to see the shattered cliffs
on those convoluted coastlines
where land and sea meander intertwined
two worlds enmeshed
in the dance of time.

Allen

 

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