Benjamin Bear visits Good Day Sacramento on May 16, 2010
Photo by Alan Satow, Stockton
—Ann Wehrman, Sacramento
beneath my glasses,
wind-whips my braids.
on a hospitable crag,
I bid swooning,
fishing gulls, Good-day!
while far below, my friends
investigate sand, rocks.
Waves crash at their shoulders;
spin translucent rainbows
over white froth.
cerulean, turquoise waters
lull and enchant;
bright sun fills
with summer’s warm life.
We could all use a little of "summer's warm life" right now, especially by the sea! Thanks Ann, and thanks to the rest of today's contributors. We're still Sea-Dreaming; send your sea poems to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 762, Pollock Pines, CA 95726. No deadline on Seeds of the Week; some of these sea poems look like they were inspired by last week's leaky boat picture, and that's just fine.
Today's photo at the top is of frank andrick's Benjamin Bear, caught here when he visited Good Morning Sacramento on Channel 31 a couple of weeks ago. Click on his pic on the b-bd at the right to hear frank read a Spam poem.
I was saddened to read in Wednesday’ Sac. Bee that someone robbed Underground Books, the bookstore owned by Mayor Kevin Johnson’s mother, Georgia West. I had occasion to meet Georgia the other day, and was impressed by her straight-forwardness and energy. No one was hurt in the robbery (at gunpoint!) but “property was taken”. Underground Books (www.underground-books.com/aboutus.htm) is in the 40 Acres commercial/arts complex on Broadway and 35th in Sacramento, with a theatre, art gallery, bookstore, coffee shop (Old Soul) and barbershop. It was developed by Johnson’s nonprofit St. HOPE organization. Whoever did this, stop it. Support your independents; don’t rob them!
Actually, if I were to rob a bookstore, I’d probably run away with all the books I could carry—forget the money (which is, doubtless, sparse anyway…)!
THE SEA GOD
—Patricia A. Pashby, Sacramento
surrender to the constant movement
of the sea
hear the breakers as they draw
a frothy edge in the sand
see the swells
Poseidon is serenading his mermaid
in whispers under the waves
hurry before the fog tucks it all in.
THE MADNESS OF AHAB
—Richard Zimmer, Sacramento
Ahab, captain of a two-masted whaler,
searched for a whale whose last meeting
in treacherous waters had cost Ahab a leg.
From out of its deep watery abode emerged
the great white whale he was looking for—
tail thrashing a warning to those on shipboard.
Sudden peals of thunder shook the craft.
Its timbers trembled under Ahab’s feet,
sparking the anger that stirred in his soul.
A boat was lowered for the perilous ride.
Harpooner at his side, Ahab, on the prow,
angrily gave command to fire the spear.
Howling for joy, when it struck the beast—
then screaming in panic as his ankle, caught
by the rope, dragged him into the sea.
Wrapped ‘round by rope, fated to drown,
lashed to the whale he hunted, madman
met tormentor in the cold uncaring waters.
Life is troublesome, men have pride,
but one who lays wrath upon a creature
has a brain where madness does abide.
THE MARY LEE
—Richard Zimmer, Sacramento
One foggy night at the Tidewater Inn,
an old seaman sat up to the bar, lit up
his pipe, sipped a beer, and told this
story to drinkers seated around him.
“It was back in ’39 on the China Sea.
A lone ship lay adrift on rolling waters.
Scorching sun was bearing down upon
the deck of the hapless schooner.
Tattered sails flapped loose in the wind.
No crewmen could be seen on board.
The name The Mary Lee could be seen
painted in white on the side of her hull.
It’s been said that ships who have lost
their crew through sickness and death
are sometimes manned by dead souls
of the former ship’s captain and crew.
They take control of the doomed ship
and guide her safely back to port—
but if the dead man’s ship is raided,
those who do so are damned for life.”
Then the seaman wiped his lips and
said, “To this day the ship still roams
the sea and if you should meet up with
her, say a prayer for The Mary Lee.”
Then he re-lit his pipe, smiled, and said,
“That’s all I have to tell unless I get
someone to buy me another beer.”
She may leak—
paint’s peeling, boards
metal cans on deck
dirty like her hull;
this boat won’t take us
far, not over ocean
where one needs
a solid ship;
waves would end
what we should have,
SHIP OF DREAMS
aging boards splintering, needing paint
leaning heavily to one side, close to shore
in water the color of grey sole
smokestack and freighters further out
your sloop still flies her flag jauntily
irrepressible as your knobby knees,
Adam’s apple, and aging libido
flag curls in the breeze
like the wisp of brown-gray
silk across your forehead
on deck, blue and gunmetal boxes
echo your blue-gray eyes
in which I float, out of time
needing paint, leaning—she still sails
carries us off this morning
early dawn breeze chill and sun
rising red, you’ve packed food, matches, blankets
cut through waves, parallel to shore
you lead us South
by dusk, pull up by the island, drop anchor
your sloop holds us; sea rocks us tonight
your arms and warm blanket
wrap around me
I want nothing more than this,
watching galaxies blaze and swirl overhead
lying in your arms, on your ship of dreams
Life is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to sea and sink.
—Medusa (with thanks to Pat Pashby for Today's LittleNip)