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The Raven and the Sailor

The cottonwood and the hemlock trees
mingle in the lower pastures
Standing high by riverside
eyeing the flood of love's disasters.

To where I follow a raven's fate
who scouts in pallid skies
for mate designed for only he
if knowest tears he'd cry.

Toward western skies in askance flies
the raven with dirge on his heart
His sorry I borrow like it's
my tomorrow
A burden of grief in cart.

The river a path that has
come to a crash
with vastness so large evokes
shivers
With nothing to follow his
heart has been swallowed
How will he spot a lost
love's quivers?

When darkness falls his longing
still calls and body implores him rest
But sleep won't come
Until he's undone
Bound to an eternal quest.

Just before the dawn awakes
I set for bountied seas
The raven perched upon the stern
of my ocean faring steed.

Beyond the port between the jetties
across the bar we flee
New mates akin by broken hearts
He with I and I with he.

Briskly arriving a smile on the day
pouncing to first light
the raven hastened away.

I bid farewell to my
black-winged brother and watched beyond my eyes
I do not know where he is going
but I do if I dare surmise.

For he is off to find that
should that with his life entwined
futile as much he discerns the touch
that has spawned upon his mind.

Away the lines on albacore hooks
I case in mindless dreams
upon the docks a lover lost
Does she wait for me?

Judder my head to untangle webs
that twist way I may see
for maiden waits for me not
My heart is beyond its pleas.

Returning to my toil for day shan't
be spoiled to eclipse the setting sun
Blood by abrasions stain weary
invasions numb til salt I've become.

Darkness comes calling to secure
the deck's fallings and my life's
ramblings as well
And to my surprise my old friend
I spy the raven is back
upon his rail.

He makes not a move his talons
in groove, stay dipped his head to
the sea
Now bound by our fate our hearts
cannot sate
Our sorrow attached like a cleat.

My friend seems stolid tuft ruffled
and squalid from restless sojourn abound
Even in rest he remains on
his quest in hopes of a
calling sound.

Respite to the cabin to calm
pangs that are stabbin'
I reserve a crust of bread
To share in my fair concerned
with his care
Beneath perched wings I lay spread.

No time yet to uncork the flask
as I am warned by the whispers
of the moon
To finish day's task, raven still
fast
Darkness arrives on owl's tune.

So vessel and I drift into
dreams tossed by a rocking sea
Swaddled in thoughts of lovers and
fish lost
Bring back my maiden to me.

Nestled in sweetness of love through
the night
I'm nudged by the natural
cadence of light.

Straight out of slumber to my
work I do lumber, raven has
already fled
He best me to work my heart
elated to jerk as I see raven
had fed.

Season by season we repeat by
our reason this thing we feel
compelled to do
Old raven on his time and myself
to my lines in debt to this life
we've accrued.

Eight seasons of chinook I've logged
into book the raven with me has
trekked
But changes has its reasons and
this one not pleasing as raven
lay lifeless on deck.

In his heart a tear that could
never appear I hold it for him
now
A moment of bleakness, helpless knees
Shake weakness
An eternal spirit will live upon
thy bow.

With hands that are scarred and
labored I cradle my friend in rest
Wash his wings in gentle attention
and place him in fashioned floating chest.

Giving him a last breath I send
him a'sail upon a sailor's sea
To continues search to the
ends of the earth, he with I
and I with he.

      Summer, 2018

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