Poem in a Bottle

Unmoored is our craft
which breasting the waves
pitches and tosses.
compass whirling,
its rigging entangled,
bosun swept overboard,
captain swigging brandy
alone in the wheelhouse

Drenched by freezing waters
the crew utters gasps of shock
imposing a staccato rhythm
upon this log wherein I write
that waves may decompose
a poem into jumbled flotsam,
blueing these leaves with ink
freed from tedious narrative

Headlands loom where the sea
encounters its limit, a dry world
stretching beyond the shoreline.
We hear the keel scrape rock.
As combers sweep the deck
I jam this sheaf into an empty
rum bottle left by the captain
who scrambled for the lifeboat

Upon blank sand seaweed unfurls,
viewed by some as strips of lore
left long ago by a forgotten empire,
the actual script decayed to gelatin;
yet my bottle stuffed with cursives
remains corked, nay buried in grit,
a missionary having told the locals
that touching drink be a mortal sin

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.