Stephen Fuller *** Poetry, Essays

The Ocean When Still, a 5 O’Clock Poem by Stephen Fuller, with audio

The ocean when still,
beautiful like blown glass,
feels like death. 
 
Ocean, move!
remind me of the living –
your rhythm like that of the heart
 
we fortunate ones have within
a pulse of God
proof of something greater than this life.
 
I stop
breathe in the sea air
that brings oxygen to steel flesh
 
we fortunate ones live within
each rush of blood past skin
that protects us from something far greater.
 
I could become the red arid dust of Mars;
I could become the toxic gas of Venus
and vie with the moon for your affection at night.
 
Here we see what the end might be: calm, beautiful.
The arbitrary throb of wind that builds crests, tosses
us into troughs, like vengeance for sins committed.
 
The ocean when still,
beautiful like blown glass,
reminds me of death.
 
Even the smallest of waves seeks out light
from their elders:
celestial myths, how they glow,
 
but life glows too, and in so doing, punishes the stars
drowning their wisdom in radiant pollution,
things we think we need right now alight.
 
This glow to starboard – Cuba – Cabo Maisi –
flashing white every 5 seconds to guide us
along this vein into the organ that calls to us.
 
The ocean enraged
channels sailors lost in want of a final kiss or debtor’s gold
mourning their failure.
 
The ocean enraged
howls through the mast like screams of stolen men, weary
to end suffering, casting their lot to sharks.
 
The ocean when still,
beautiful like blown glass,
feels like death.

Written while at sea in the Caribbean in 2012.

(C) 2012 Stephen Fuller

39 Responses to “The Ocean When Still, a 5 O’Clock Poem by Stephen Fuller, with audio”

  1. -Eugenia

    Wow! When read aloud the poem takes on so much meaning. I love the repetition, which that stanza in itself is intriguing.

    Life ebbs and flows, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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