Be Angry at the Sun

14 Mar

Day 117

Noon Position: 43 50S. 123 23E

Course/Speed: ENE7

Wind: WSW17-32

Bar: 1031 Sky:

Overcast Sea: SW8

Cabin Temp: 60

Water Temp: 55

Miles last 24 hours: 162

Longitude Made Good: 152

Total Miles: 16,110

Miles to Hobart: 1090

Part I

Slate gray the sea,

Slate gray the bird,

Slate gray the sky,

And the wind blows.

Slate gray and ice blue the sea crashing;

Slate gray and white the bird passing over;

Slate gray and ash the sky,

And the wind blows its empty howl in the rig.

Slate gray and ice blue the sea crashing,

its endless, blind march from the rising sun

unseen to the unseen setting place.

Slate gray and white the bird passing over,

swinging from one crest to the next,

in taunting arcs just beyond the angry reach fo the sea.

Slate gray and ash the sky,

burnt without fire and unconsumed.

And the winds blows its empty howl in the rig,

a spirit chorus calling out an incomprehensible warning.

Slate gray the sea,

the bird, the sky.

And the wind blows.

Part II

From the cockpit I yell to the wind,

“I don’t mind 17 knots or 32, but pick one.

Don’t make me be on deck all day!”

Always on the quarter,

the sea stacks up and kicks Mo in the ass.

She slews around broadside.

The helmsman corrects but too late.

The sails spill; the rig shakes.

We lay over. Fist to sky.“

Must it always be like this?

Can’t we sail without your torments?”

And Jeffers whispers:

“Be angry at the sun for setting if these things bother you.”


Part III

While studying the sails,

I glance at the horizon.

A whiteness there,

not the stark white of the sea,

but a cream white and Not diffuse like a collapsing wave,

but compact.

More like a lump on the sea

that turns out to be a Wandering Albatross squat on the surface,

asleep, its head tucked under a wing and,

as we pass within three bird lengths,

I see its bluey feet slowly treading,

keeping the body pointed into the wind.

It never wakes but keeps on treading over and under waves.

Perfectly at ease. Comfortably at home.


This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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