|Bolting Mare Rock
Coos Bay, Oregon
Winter’s awash inside the gray, hard heart
of the sea.
Pounding war fists strike against reef and
Out of her depth, the boat leans, bruised,
barely afloat. Oil from her tanks pools around
of nets, spoiling the deck with drenched cordage
tossed by chaos into a frenzy. Captain with
the bucking fury.
No dry skin. Feet slip under each wave’s lash.
The captain’s son, as fine a seaman as any,
to secure a hatch as the specterous sea plans
swells around him, making the small boat lurch.
When brow proud it rises, one of the crew
Waters awash between this village and the heartless
heart of the sea. Women shudder, drenched
at the point.
Watching, afraid of what there is most to
A vessel is galloping toward Bolting Mare
There is no drowning without a deep, uneasy
inside the belly of waves as burning water
and the body sinks into whirling exile snatched
from the arms of those that love. The sea
is a lover too.
Will have its quarry; never releasing what
it deeply kisses.
Whispering as it possesses: No profit to a
O God, an infidel of the air,
I fear not. I am Man, hair of your hair,
wind spittled water whipped, flying
as I heave with the seethe down under.
Transfigured and unrepentant, I dare
the miraculous waves to throw me up.
O God, though time cramp
my toil and I am phantom cast between
dreaming shores, my blood sings as it flies.
When sea wise no longer, mingling undone
and my heart sinks like a drowning star
to rest in some forgotten harbor, my soul
airy and shirtless, shall rise above water
to sail once more.
- Scott Malby
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