fragments, brine Redux

you weave tales of ocean
as though your feet know salt
and your hands know knots.

You write of foam
and sailor’s breath, yet
you arms resemble driftwood,
your hair reminds of

Your white whales and harpoons,
your Viking voyages
do not
a history make.

Aye, we lose good men,
but men of sea are mourned
The sea is not an adventure,
] many lonely battlefields.

Storms are not braved, poet.
They are survived.
By good men and bad,
the strong, the weak,
it matters not. The brine takes us in,
the brine spits some out.


Here, we know only how to breathe.

When we’re old, we’ve lost
all sense of land the way [
] Calm seas

“Let me look into a human eye;
it is better than to gaze into sea or sky…”

You take to water knowing you will
return to land, and wonder why
you toss
and turn in your
struggle to [

cease your inward wanderings. The
windows through which you wonder
warm where you sit, and [

How do you imagine Odysseus
once again a King on Land?
Tossed, eroded, his heart’s shape
] return.

How can you capture
the ocean in your words
when the page is never




  • The image was taken from Michael Kenna’s collection: Silent World.
  • The fragmented nature of the poem was based on the work of Sappho. Granted, Sappho’s work is not deliberately fragmented, but empty spaces speak of entire oceans of emotion.
  • The quote is taken from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

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