Wednesday, March 28, 2012

No Hands

Apparently a trawler that was washed out to sea by the tsunami in Japan was just sighted off the California coast, after just over a year at sea with no-one aboard. Spooky.

There were no hands at my wheel when the wave came
I had no sails spread
was burning neither coal nor diesel.
There was no-one aboard
when I was stripped from the land.
There was no motive force

except the relentless current that sucked me
into the Pacific Gyre. I rode it
round and round. I rode
for a year under the wheeling sky.
I rode next to the Flying Dutchman, surrounded
by yellow rubber ducks,
empty plastic bags like deformed ghosts of jellyfish,
six-pack rings tangled round the necks of albatrosses,
chunks of Styrofoam bobbing along, fake icebergs
searching for a toy Titanic. I wasn't it.
With no hands aboard I was just one more piece of trash
riding round and round. Until
the Pacific choked, hawked, and spat me out
too big a hunk of junk for even an ocean to swallow.

Now I'm drifting east. I'm learning to steer
with no hands. I'm learning
to navigate by the feel of my keel.
I'm dragging a long rope of garbage: nylon rope, pop bottles and Mylar balloons
knotted into a cable thick as your waist and a thousand miles long.
I'm drifting your way with this unwelcome treasure
fouled around my propeller. Watch for us coming in
on the next big wave.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

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