Thursday, 22 October 2015

To J. - a poem

I wrote this years ago, for my (now ex-)wife.  I found it in my Facebook notes and, looking at it, I still think it's still one of the best things I've ever written.  With that in mind I'm reproducing it here -

To J.

We reached Melos after 85 days wandering
Finding the sea as the ancients had said
Wine dark, serpent haunted.

We rounded Malea on the 91st day.
Without fanfare, without cheers, with mourning.
We forgot where we had come from.

On the 96th day we sailed past Bojador
The end of the world, my world, was close.
I began to wander.

We wandered a long time, years
In that Atlantic expanse
Iron grey, rolling, unmarked.

One month drew into another
Blurring in a grey eternity
I threw the compass away.

After many years the sun showed itself
Face roasting in a blood red sky
Stripping scales for new skin

Night came, and 11 tiny white stars
Stood still in a velvet black
Cool air came with a burgundy coloured dawn

Mid-morning found green hills
A beach the colour of honey
A woman knee deep in the waves.

The winds died away for the last time
And I knew that I had never been lost.
I had been looking for Ithaca.

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