Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

Sailmaker's Palm

Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

Sailmaker's Palm

Article excerpt

My black-haired bride was made of sails.

She was a ship; her wedding sails were white.

I made her dress with yards of canvas.

Winding stitch after stitch, I sewed all night.

I was a child to the wind.

I listened to it like a father.

I put an inwardly spiraled shell to my ear

to hear what the sea had to say.

A web spun between weeds. Like a memory

I keep forgetting

of being kissed for the first time at the sea;-

her wind-whipped red hair, her bathing suit of cobalt blue.

My bride was a full-rigged ship

being launched to sea. On her maiden voyage

she was thrown into the wild green Atlantic.

At the hour of my death

carry me to the graveyard by boat

as on Bequia, island of the cloud,

where the dead were ferried by oarsmen

who rowed de dead stroke-.-

they took one stroke through water,

then feathered the oars,

took the next stroke through the air,

then feathered the oars.

The oarsmen of the island

transported both body and spirit

into the afterlife.

I saw my wife sailing beneath the light

of a full moon. Her bright sails illumined,

she rides across a ghostly topography. …

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