Nine Fifteen


On rain-struck stage, our mighty captain wails;
With each riff, chord and plectrum, the blue ship
Pounds ahead into night, dark as vinyl;
Winds roil, whipping the steadfast sail.
Drenched by drops, we click our screens off,
Clutch the rail, gaze upward, and ponder how much longer

His force can last, but beyond, the landscape view
Shows soul on soul; his craving fans advancing.
Below, soused rock-drunk, devotees stand
Swaying in bright blue beams; a ghost
Looms, thin as air, among guitars, weeping
Under the taut cloak of her misery.

Miles from the fiery glow of that southern sun
In which our preacher is betrayed, we pale
And marvel at the blatant indifference
Of nature: no better way to test our mettle
Than against this assault, these impulsive walls of squall
That scuffle with us like demons; the mere thought

Of reaching truth through this rampaging flow
Jeers us to courage. The prophets said that our crossing
Would be full of warmth, earth milk, and honey flecked
With moonbeams, amber-tinted; instead, dead leaves
Arrived early to dot our journey, while ground
Curdled over with dirt and ore boats passed

In cobalt light of the mysterious eve.
Now, freed, by fortune’s hand, from the jealous plague
Thumping his detractors down, we take a stand
Like three musketeers, to fight for deathless love
From this restless soul, which no vessel can contain;
Sound and fury at odds; abrupt silence

Stills all hearts cold; private lives are split,
Splintered in the light of day. We disown
Our own selves now, impelled by blood, by blues,
To keep our tacit oath; perhaps esteem
Is worthless here, overboard, yet we must make
The effort, dance and hold the tortured man’s gaze.

And the band heads towards venues, lanes and towns
Of other fans, where headstones eulogize
Greats who strummed through war, and peace; the music
Dies; blue beams snuffed; we right ourselves,
Our keepsakes, as calm halts our grand voyage; no bonds
Sustain arrival; we storm the dock as strangers.

~ mary e gilmore

Photo credit: David James Swanson

Until next time, be kind to yourself. And each other.


Note: All opinions expressed here are my own. I have not received any compensation for writing this post.

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