For John Blight
In the hospital a poet of the sea
sits up in bed in an ocean of white-capped sheets, sailing the tiny boat of mortality,
its frets of timber carved by tempered steel.
I read your sonnets, poems that reveal
quixotic insights crafted in water
abandoning trodden paths in singing words;
a seabird’s call that drifts above the ocean like the bridal stars upon a sea of glass.
You move far ahead of us, collecting shells, their fluted music the poet’s song
from spiralled depths—the tidal moon’s ebb and flow life’s counterpart.
I watch time shape the finished work of art,
your hands’ elusive shadow on the wall
following the grain that is the sea’s wave,
the islands of knots that gleam in the hurricane’s wash where waves of wood curve out to pale horizons.