Friday, October 12, 2012

Apothesion of the Ocean

One of my books, the Apothesion of the Ocean, is a collection of poetry written while at sea in the North Pacific Ocean. I will be sharing that book in anticipation of its potential publication, possibly as an ebook, while I am still editing it.


Plus Ultra


Familiar as the motto of Spain, it refers to an even more ancient warning inscribed, according to legend, upon the Pillars of Hercules (the modern day Straits of Gibraltar). The said inscription, “Nemo plus ultra,” warned the mariner that there was nothing further beyond the Pillars and that he ought to return. The motto, which dares the mariner to ignore the warning and see what is beyond the limits of understanding, is quite appropriate for this poem, celebrating celestial navigation. Dedicated to Kapitan Rick.


Pour forth a ray of Your brightness, Lord, into

our vigilant eyes and keen souls! Speak, o stars,

for now we listen with patient hearts and knowledge

well regulated to the very second. Such discipline

do you demand, jewels of the spheres, to guide us

upon the world’s wide expanse, round the pillar

of unearthly light you let land in antipode of Earth.

But to those who persevere then coax from this

celestial clue circle to round encircle planet and

find us sailing at its tangent.


                                            O art of angels! For what

other can command such power leased from Urania

for token of rigor and labor as to pause the sun itself

in endless track, hang the stars and suspend wheel of

heaven in space, while patience is repaid time over

to place us upon the globe? What other art doth let

fly so high and long the arrow-point of sight so as to

touch and ask the ancient orbs the way back home?

The star frenzy gleans in mathematic cipher the flight

of Helios and Diana on zenith-line and divine loxodrome,

that combined gains admission onto cosmic curve

and heaven’s highway with freeze of tiny watch.


Thus the zodiac procession halted, our ship seems

to glide onto sea-path with breathless stir, and disturb

but specks of stars in diamond wake. Whole host

of heaven greets us with joyful twinkle and the vessel

seems be made of sterling gold, blessed with the

Master’s grace. This patch of ocean is not reached

by wit and luck alone, but by teaching and obedience

that rises as sweet smell and well pleases our God.

Seeing willing hearts and firm foundation, even upon

the waters the Lord let’s heaven’s glow reveal His City

upon rushing, rising floor of plankton, beneath universal

dome, and bring the Seamans closer to Purgatory’s shore.


For here is true learning and firmest education, that

does not shine behind haze of theory, but guides men

unscathed upon the earth, and lifts them to heaven’s vault,

showing from fraction height of saints lands and worlds

further, beyond the horizon and safe waterbreak of harbor.

No comments:

Post a Comment