I came down into the town along wrinkled streets,
past slumped houses. Outside old men,
salt-blue hats stealing past crisp, white hairs,
sat on stools, whittled driftwood into memory.
The deserted dockyards dominated the heavy coastline,
ribbed bones. Once Schooners and Brigantines
were the mainstay of the village until the evening
when fishermen dragged themselves up to the shore.
Silence casts about the town now, dust settles
old scores, the world turns a straight back
to a finished existence. Fish swim in distant waters
as ripples bring sadness into tarred hearts.
I came down into the town in search
of an easy boat to brave the sea – possessed
by a dream that my father the wood carver
was trapped inside the sea’s moaning darkness.
I sought the prodigal path across waves
and storms to bring my father, the candle, home –
I was haunted by a mad belief that skin
and bone would not serve as well as wood.
I was already a cast out boy and wanted
at this late date to be a tree again. A tree
can sail oceans; each leaf can hear prayers
whispered in darkness. I was made flesh.