Song of the Fisherman
(To Gabriel Okara, our grey seaman)
Aged mariner at the bounteous creek edge
Did you scan perils from the shoreline-
Oceanic fury the size of the Indian Sea?
You who fished the deep submarine psyche
Of wide Atlantic tides-how do you break
The igneous moods of sea-gods at work
On a new way, silting upon a new wake?
What beauty from waves that bereave?
What atone for pangs of expired cities?
How stem gales eating up the beaches?
Good fortune surrounds us with curious
Scientists and strategists on routine hunt
To prospect volcanic whims of seas
To plant foreknowledge after the grief…
Awaken yourselves from the dismantling storm
Our earth will not die, the grey seaman sings:
The water’s voice in the flame
That cries, in winds that
Bring the wood to sighs,
The child’s cry in trees that quiver, are
Earth and sea mating in grisly tides
Re-craving and recreating themselves.
The sea is dream, the sea is life
And the hurts on its grim brink
Between wills for distances
And wilts of chance
We overwhelm grief and sing
This covenant in bare- footed song.
SENTINEL POETRY #29, Online Magazine Monthly, April 2005, ISSN 1479-425X