The Sailor’s Tale: Chapter Three — The Clifftop

At the head of the cliff with the sea at its feet
is our man as he stands with the stature of one
who has conquered a task which would chal­lenge the best
at the height of their health, not marooned on the shore
of a land harsh and strange. Though his hands are rubbed raw
and his knees cut to shreds he can laugh at the waves,
as they reach up to grab him, and spit at them, shout at them, yell
to the ocean:

We thought you’d won and bested me!
You rolled me back and forth inside
your frozen hands and chilled my bones
and drew the breath from out my breast
but now, cruel sea, I’m free!
I’m gone! You are to me a weak,
old mule whose buck did shake me not!
Now mark my words, blue brute, I shall
arrive both safe and sound at home
to find my wife, my child, my house
and all I own are left untouched
and wait­ing there for me.”

With his spir­its now raised and his path seem­ing clear,
he did bel­low his joy for he felt he had won.
Then red took the sea and he fell to his knees
and his laugh slowly ebbed to a wail on his lips

Cruel ocean,” he gasped, between blub­bers and mewls,
“Why do this to me? Why show me these things?”

In the surf there was blood being mixed on the sand
as the water made show of its vic­tory spoils.
It had won, it did say, it had tri­umphed this day.
He was lost on a land that was new to his eyes
with no ship and no crew and no friends and no love.
Could it ask any­more than to ruin him so?
He was broken and bested. No vic­tor was he.
The true cham­pion this day was the blood red sea.

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