Yes, deaths and loves-lost upheavals pushed one overboard.
This voyage’s vessel sailed fine many a year—tacking windward
Through tempests and storms — its keep held its holding of songs and breath.
Then, that overboard fall into the dark waters of death in life/life in death —
Swirled in “That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea.” (1)
A strange new time of lost times. Treading thrashing splashing
All alone in the vastness of one’s own self all alone. . .
Recalling Aeneas’ ship captain, Palinurus, put to sleep by the gods
To fall overboard (as sacrifice) to ensure Aeneas safe passage to his new home. (2)
And, now, a new daybreak sloshes a vacant tattered raft into view —
Recalling the fig-tree raft saving Odysseus, but destroyed by Poseidon.
Still, lonely Odysseus thrashed the dark mortal waters
To the land of the Phaeacians who sailed him safe home. (3)
Same for Gilamesh, who preceded all these Epic journeys;
And finding no Eternal Life at the Edge of the Earth,
Returned home to Uruk – where he lived at home with his mortality. (4)
Pondering such epic sea journeys of the lost and lonely reaching home. . .
Suddenly, an AHOY called-out-the-raft – and a lonely one climbed aboard.
Lifted a tattered sail to the wind. Behold! A new voyage of passage craft.
A different passenger, oar in hand, on a different voyage on a salvage raft!
But passaged again with that “worth hold . . . plunge of voyage
‘tyte, and yare, and bravely rig’d as when we first put out to sea.’”
“As we, newborn, glide buoyant in the sun.” (5)
Onboard once again! FORWARD HO!
Many loves gone but the waves sing Love’s “my heart will go on” and louder
“Once more you open the door,” (6) — as horizons gleam for the craft not lost.
O! Merest life-craft plunging oceans of vicissitudes to verse the poem stronger.
O! Life’s final port’s more in view, now, more than ever as the final cost.
But yet, another voyage of manifest destiny’s Odyssean Kairos has embarked.
O! Craft of Life – to launch an Epic Journey past the losses of the heart.
O! To behold the beheld of home again with belongs of memory to fire the hearth.
AHOY! A different passage! Old hands clutching an ancient mast —
As both craft and crafter are recast to make the journey last —
As time’s clock-hands point to that final port of call.
Alas! An overboard passenger not totally alone after all
With Love’s paddles working the waters safe as winds tear the eyes
And the great sea rumbles the raft o’er and through
Crests of waves splashing crashing – christening anew!
O! Passages yet to be of any such passenger all the way home.
More overboards perhaps, but this clinging’s to hold in times to come . . .
With salvages of other rafts drifted from love’s longer poem,
As courageous mortality creates its – own — “monuments of unageing intellect” (7)
While ever moving on and on as love’s craft across seas of complexity and conflict
Ah! Helm and Keel in hug of wind holding its cargo of – this-one-will-never-be-again —
With its Keep of Earth’s Elysium’s mortal romps in gallop-hold of life’s flashing mane.
And, so it is, that this voyage shines with each daybreak’s
Loud shouts of tales through the gales — “To lay a ship a-hold” (8)
So it grabs the wind that keeps it held-clear of the rocks;
Safe-voyage embarked out to sea again and lively ports of call:
Freed to craft a new day’s lonely-aging-yell of — “Hold On!”
O! So beholden anow to newest passages in the sun on the deep:
Tall-Ship of a raft in the beheld of the behold – holding – Holding! —
Its new voyage begun of love’s continuum “a-hold”— within its Keep;
Just as ancient wayfarer’s stars, winds, and birds in flight – compassed their sky.
An Epic journey embarked, held again, past the heart’s hold of some-day-to-die.
Alas! Another Old Man and the Sea story (9) – past great losses,
Past weeps from the deeps, victories consumed — but home again to dream.
Now, another Ancient Mariner, old and haggard, but modern as can be
Having rimed many an Epic Journey of life through death — now home—a new tale to share,
With nature’s blessings, past losses great and small — reaching new harbors of daily care.
Ah! The Held of Home Again! That Compass of the Keep — where love holds true to dare.
Bold passenger hoisting memory’s flag – from Being’s all “alone on a wide wide sea” (10) –
And sings to the winds the holding shouts of –“Gather me Into the artifice of eternity.” (11)
“LAY HER A-HOLD!” (12) TO “MINE OWN COUNTREE.” (13)
FORWARD HOME !!
[(1 & 7 & 11) from Yeat’s Sailing to Byzantium & Byzantium — (2) from Virgil’s Aeneid — (3) references from Homer’s Odyssey — (4) Gilamesh , the first Epic Tale — (5) From my Voyage Blessing and quote from Melville’s Moby Dick — (6) from song My Love Goes On from movie Titanic — (8 & 10 & 12) Shakespeare’s The Tempest — (9) Hemingway’s novel —
(10 & 13) Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner…….All Hands On Deck!—Raft to
This is an APE – Autobiographical-Poem-Essay — by Michael D. O’Kelly. As usual to this oeuvre – there are bold thumpings of the chest and loud expressive echoing yells while swinging on the vines-lines-rimes of life’s jungle of surprise, complexity – and gardens of poesies. It’s
about me, but that “passenger” – climbing onboard a new destiny — is humanity as well. O! Epic Journey, indeed! — For a tough of real voyage history, I offer the following accounting from Joseph Campbell’s The Flight of the Wild Gander (Gateway Edition, 1972—recalling
Columbus’s and others search for a separate domain of Paradise – somewhere beyond the seas):
“I am quite ready to admit, therefore, that it does seem to me that when the prows of Columbus’s three brave little ships (the Santa Maria was a vessel of only one hundred tons the Pinta a caravel of fifty, and the Nina a mere forty tons)—when the prows of these three nutshells cut
through the world-encircling Uroboros, Ocean, the mythological age of European thought was dealt a lethal blow and the modern age of global thinking, adventurous experiment, and empirical
demonstration inaugurated. . . . Columbus died without knowing that he had actually delivered the first of a series of blows that were presently to annihilate every image, not only of an earthly,
but ever of a celestial paradise. In 1497, Vasco da Gama rounded South Africa, and in 1520, Magellan, South America: the torrid region and the seas were crossed, and no paradise found. In
1543, Copernicus published his exposition of the heliocentric universe, and some sixty years later, Galileo commenced his celestial researches with a telescope. And, as we know, these researches led immediately to the condemnation of the new cosmology by the Holy Inquisition.” (p. 121,122)
[Note: The Holy Inquisition of the Catholic church’s effort to combat heresy began in 1282 and was the organ of Papal government dealing with heresies such as Copernicus (died 1542) , Bruno (burned at state in 1600), and Galileo (died 1642). It was revised in 1542 to deal with the
Protestant Reformation, which was developing throughout Europe, based on Justification of Faith alone and not the dogmatic government of the Catholic church. – Columbus had four maritime expeditions (1492 – 1504): died in 1506). — Much as happened since then.]
ALAS, THE EPIC VOYAGE OF ALL WAS FOUND TO BE THE EARTH’S JOURNEYS AROUND THE SUN – AND LATER THE SUN’S JOURNEYS IN THE SPIRALS OF THE MILKLY WAY GALAXAY —- AND THIS GALAXAY’S JOURNEY IN THE UNIVERSE OF TRILLIONS OF SUCH GALAXIES.
ALAS, AN EPIC JOURNEY, INDEED, OF HUMAN FREEDOM-INTELLIGENCE-
EXPLORATION FROM THE CONSTRICTIONS OF FALSE/MIND-IMPRISONING
Ahhhh! Paradise! Being at Home on Planet Earth. HAPE HOME – Home Address Planet Earth —Humanity’s Only Mother Earth. Ahhhhhhhh! [ I’ve an APE on Paradise that goes with this.]