Are fishing vessels like the dreaded shark,
that swims endlessly when wetted by sea?
No mourning nor merriment owed the dark,
and miles between the hull and the quay.
They persistently glide on ocean tides,
measuring time by space left in the hold.
There’s a secret some sailors will confide,
each outing ends in a death unforetold.
There is the pleasant death of days at rest,
but then there’s becoming Poseidon’s guest.
Wind kicks at her hem.
The skirt flaps and snaps.
White cotton surrendering
to stiff seaside gusts.
A palm shoots to thigh
to bar the immodest scene
of goose-bumped flesh.
A fishing boat chugs through the sound.
Puttering on sputtering engines
–then silence and drift.
A surefooted seamen stands and slings
a net that splays open like pizza dough.
It lands gently on shimmering seas,
and sinks into green-blue waters in slow motion.
Trying to snare an unsuspecting catch.
Snorkelers ride the swells
like drifting corpses.
Mesmerized by a new world below
Awe expires from tubes,
rising and evaporating in sun-warmed air
Sailboats rock like metronomes–
masts counting out a rhythm,
a planetary pulse
retreating seas pull sand underfoot
He leans into the trudge,
his body-weight barely defeating the sea’s suction.
Red and white lanterns drift aloft.
Slanting up into night skies over the bay.
Light flickers and dances
before flashing into cinder
that will fall silently into churning waves.
Water gurgles in rocky sumps at the sea’s edge.
The tiny caverns floods like a heart chamber,
scurrying metallic green crabs flee out onto the rocks.
No two tides are identical–nature surprises even veterans.