Mariners (Mi Snarre) — K.Hunt

Twelve hands it took to beach her
And like once I drove my paint job in for touch ups
And got T-boned . . .

They were adjusting the trim
Paring the wooden bow, bit by bit, day by day
Scrape Scrape Scrape
Clank Clank Clank
To “Get ‘er right,” it was said

And on into the afternoons they repaired, it went
A document of some years antecedent
A tale well spent back when shavings were proof
She plied her trade in sunset’s cinnamon-rich breath

The local salts were gathered by promises of whiskey
This is how I came to know of the wreck of The Gilded Mary

Dance they did, the waves on merry shores

No hull will take the endless pounding of the plane
A blue-hair thusly spake
A wrinkle
His yellow, sky-worn eyes hanging like old dogs on porches
Too tired to “up” but barking

The old hand with the sea thirst had seen many a maiden wearied, “Bluenosing”
Given over to the delight of fire-thieving craftsmen

Saw the fate of ever daring vessels shared by The Gilded Mary
Her dainty nether regions thinned to cellulose foil
Left alone too long with men
Who, for love, in the end
Rage at the sea’s greedy-smelling blue note by their carving and hempen wrestling of
Watery hulls calloused mits never ferry buckets of fat clams for, nor
Trouble to pry four sorry work-worn widget warriors from their sups
Never to damn, the brisket piped,
The age-old dispute betwixt sailors, seas and “Marys

Dance they did, the waves on merry shores
Mizzen to jib, Popeyes, all

Speak, Mary!, scarred
From mizzen to jib the fodder of distant fires and sea slime
A’rest, a’top, awry, a piling dost pierce thy torn-lace thigh
Mirror my Impala boomerang
Flowers prop mariners again in the thin brown grass of wrecking yards
Tickling vainglorious rattling sand-encrusted orange-spotted hub-cap barnacles
Pitched in grav’ly prayers to great oily paint pots in the sky during breezes
Speak, Mary!

Give me
She whispered above the swish of bickering sprites
Bruised by men’s gravelly murmurs
One clear run
Tuck in again my bloomers, my “pantalines”

Fit me a welded corset so that I might dash
Once more
A maverick on the crisp green prick of water

Crash, at war
By way of greasy whale roads
Spitting Stinking Cursing

But if not this
Let me tread in the cracked-pearl world of people – that cracked pearl

To you
Yes, you
With the thick dry hide
Reading this
Oh, spawn of ornery oysters
Wearied of roller coasters
Blurb in the shipping news
Will I, “Speak, Mary!”

But not as poetry

In this pale light I will tell that though my flesh is devoured by cellulite promises
There need be no skulking in wooded harbour full-in-the-face of peasantry
I rest me here instead, amid familiar pilings
A speck of dust, a waylorn sheep, a bottle a-bobbing – bobbling – all buffy browny black
Fodder of marauding teredos and woodcutters at last
Astride this wavering scaffold where land and water dicker and friends and enemies meet

According to this delicate interplay of forces, I, me, abide
Don’t look too close or you’ll get sand in your eyes like that guy

Dance they did, the waves on merry shores
Do not drag ‘er, let ‘er rest ahile

Tears were shed unnoticed in the brine
I, distracted, own that none were mine
Some assemble pleas
Yet by each flutter of her well-lashed bowsprit
She is resued, adorned, at sea

And I calls the place of her rusty berth, Hamartia
And I spills some rye there on that canvas
And we prays she would picks her teeth with these pages in years to come ‘n
Wipes our damp, downed brows ‘n hums in eulogy:

Let me lie like this, too
Tidy below the billowy sheets of morning
While we doze the lakes will surely rise
The ocean will hurl its innards while we wallow dry beyond
Feeby will cast her spell
And the maiden – pickle in a vat – her ebony spirit tight will clasp, like fingers
The rocky shore

Dance they did, the waves on merry shores
Even the Greeks dry-docked their beasts from time to time
Dance they did, the waves on merry shores
Their Promethean fires flanked, doused, raked elsewise

No strong arms embarrass engineers nor philosophers by morning
Purpose and bearing Sextant and gravity flit off
Hardened points or embers fired, the donuts of lesser quandries plow their wake
Sketch a – This marks a web of golds and greys ‘n corn cakes tw’eat – and we
Folding twisted chassis more, agree, paint webs of gold and grey as they should be
Skid marks
Hopeful glances Purple mist on water
Sun rising

For it is hard to say what is won and lost
What with heels dug in like that

Hard to say
Dance they did