Get the engineers to hoist a sail, pull on sheet
they thought was halyard – you’ll get great laugh
out of watching their fumble, their tremble as
they stare at disturbed forestys’l flogging in the wind.
But forget not they who retire belowdecks, into
the very belly of our Bobby, they are worthy of
as much honor, and as noble as the navigators.
Yea, step but into their world, and you become
as they hopeless on the decks, their they reign
with strange custom and knowledge the power
Watch these men engage in magic
as they coax the sails of bass to life! They raise
a sail of iron into the water, while the sails of cloth
fail in wind onslaught. They cheat the very breeze!
Look, the ship does the impossible, going headlong
into the airs, its speed undiminished but augmented
by the work of engineers!
But this is only their first
show of technic skill – next they ope the sea chest
and breach the hull! Yet the ship does not fill to
brim with brine of ocean, but freshwater, as if
they found sweet spring upon the desert, unlocked
unknown rivers amidst the treasury of deadly water!
Their silent grin betrays another feat, this time as
they infuse life into roaring machine, master and
load the thing as if beast of burden, to spread light
and electric spark to all other things aboard: a new
fire from a new Prometheus, to light the galley oven
and enliven the glowing tablets for our project work.
These men are inducted as guardians of the new
wheel, upon which drives the civilization of the
moderns, which drove us to land and space conquer –
but not yet the relentless sea, harsh master that it is.
Now none laugh as they emerge from their lair,
save them, the strange men, that laugh as shipmates
dumbfounded beware their wake, lest they try
another work upon a ship made bright and brilliant
by their discreet toil. Their privilege is no more
questioned by silenced grumbles, lest they check
the heads and stop the reefer from providing bit
of comfort so far away from land. Instead they
take the helm beside the Kaptain, all content.