The pale priest of the mute people
takes now his due from another source,
carrying off Jordan's bank a host
of old crushing bitterness from the dim
grey mist of a soulless void.
The lighthouse man sends his black cat scurrying,
and her shadow passing by is premonition of an ill fate--
an ill fate to befall the ship of cold hate,
whole hull bound for the hidden reefs whose teeth
now procure a hopeless voyage.
The horizon outlines a light blue schooner
who glides languidly from the bottom of Pandora's box,
and who awaits with sanguine expectation the coming of a tired swimmer
who has left the vessel of before.
Arm over arm and kicking, yet as Sisyphus,
he labors to remain buoyant in the teeming froth;
sometimes choking, he sinks below the waves
which curl out from the reef who now has used his
black teeth to grind the mother ship into unrecognizable splinters.
Black and swollen, his salt-cracked tongue
begins to throb dryly; arms grow limp, and feet
twitch feebly and uselessly against his endless oppressor
of all that spurred him on to even this point,
this point of only onward, no return, no stopping,
or sink slowly, and begone.
Then the lifting of a strengthless head;
spray-stung eyes, slits in the sea,
squint and discern, with no small twinge of hopeless dolor that the
delicate schooner of little Pandora
seems ever the same long leagues away.
But barely an instant of fleeting eternity is
used up in a glorious passage; now the schooner
is by his side, calming the waters and extending oars
which are the arms of beautiful maidens who rescue, who snatch him
from the frustrated jaws of nauseating hate.
Up, up again, and still higher, until the schooner and its
beautiful blue-eyed golden-haired maidens
carry their charge and themselves so far into the
blue and white above; the huge and angry sea
is below them a mere pond,
to be sailed by swan-clouds.
Far below remain the conscious memories of the darkness:
the reef has fully devoured the old mother ship, spiced by all
of the empty sadness and unpleasant times it had borne.
The lighthouse-man takes in his cat, and they sit in their
beacon of death, surrounded now by quiet, clear waters.
There, around the sharp black teeth of the eater of ships
of hate, are the fragments of the past: a board, a spar, a bit of
a letter, a lock of hair, and a diary of Hellpit. All of these serve
to remind the swimmer of what he has left behind, but like the long
distance runner, he does not look back.
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