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The Flood

"The wide land was smashed like a pot".
Nabu and Sharru rose the clamor
that was their trademark, swelling
the land like a sponge until it
could hold no more.

The water overflowed to cover the low
hills, pushing all life higher.
They climbed like heroes to the tops of
every mountain but none were
high enough - it "swept over everything".

The gods hid their eyes from
the drowning,
              they sighed at the
lack of foresight.
              Only one boat,
                            one lone ark,
              bobbed like a cork in a bathtub
where there was no safe harbor,
              only the rain, only
the deep dark blue and white.

The Mariners had no use for charts or stars,
they had only to float and stay alive.
The unknown sea like a blind-sided punch,
                              

           always unexpected.

They were heroes to the vacant air,
              no cries,
no laughter.
              A water test, from gods
who knew nothing of being human,
                              

    who
made the ground rise to meet the boat at
Nisir,

where it rotted on display for the wind.




Turning The Wheel


I turn this wheel for my father
who is a hundred feet below
In the blue to black
where creatures have no eyes
I am his life and I cannot fail.
I turn, and my arms ache.
His life a result of my toil.
The ocean cannot have him
he belongs here with me.
I am certain in my duty.
I am resolute in my charge.
The air, the sky, the water,
subtle against the boat. They
are sirens tempting me,
distracting my attention and
I must not be lured by inactivity,
it would kill my father and then
he would be murdered, like his
father, by the sea.

The line, taut, three tugs
and then up through a hole in the waves
when he reappears
My joy is uncontained,
my fear put aside for the day.
My job is done, I have
Given life and
struggled with my weakness.

I know one day he will not emerge,
I know, because nothing is hidden
In the blue as deep as the world,
the signs are read in the
movements and grace of the sea.

He will smile as he sinks
beneath the the boat,
beneath the crest of the reef
finally, the sirens
will draw him in; 
draw him back, back to the
first glimpse and the comfort
he had waited for; the bed where he
could never sleep, the cloak
that he could never keep.