The Souls of Those Lost at Sea

C.J. Carter-Stephenson

Originally published in Möbius, September 2007.

The paper bag dances
Along the gloomy beach,
Like a lonely spirit
Searching for meaning.
It speaks to the sea
In whispered rustlings
And the song of the waves
Is the sea's reply.

Back and forth
The water flows,
Over sharks' teeth shingle
And clammy silt,
Rhythmically gurgling
Strange, mad messages
Of distant shores
And watery graves.

Wind and tide,
Nature's pride,
But in each melodious pulse
Are the murmurings
Of the spectral host -
Restless spirits,
Whose lives expired
Within its boundless expanse.

They speak of winds,
Like demon breath,
Raging, raging
Through tempestuous skies.
They speak of waves
That soar into the air,
Battering boats
With car crash blows.

A merciless murderer
That severs threads
With a blade
Of water, salt and brine.
Dark and devious,
It hides what's left
In the inky depths
Of an insatiable maw.

Vanquished vessels
Are laid to rest
On beds of sand
And swaying plants,
To become the haunts
Of shimmering shoals
And the unhappy souls
Of those lost at sea.

Poetry Divider.

The right of C. J. Carter-Stephenson to be identified as the writer of this poem has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author, or a license permitting restricted copying.