Homeward bound

Leewayed – topsail tacked
in tradewinds froth
with scurvied grins
through sun and hail
they’re homeward bound

a seaman’s heart is leatherbound
    a book of harbored sins
a seaman’s heart’s an albatross
    a tension darkly wound

Hail starboard cliffs with breaking waves
the lighthouse guides them home
through midnight wails
with harbour lights aport!

a sweetheart’s heart is tied with ropes
    a sentinel that’s soaked in foam
a sweetheart’s heart is blackbird song
    a waiting sadly jailed.

In morn their ship with tattered sails
is moored, it’s hull ashored,
The crows are pecking at the bones
of sailors coming home again.

Shipwreck by Ivan Aivazovsky

Shipwreck by Ivan Aivazovsky

Gillena prompts us to write in 100 words or less about sailing and ships at toads.

32 responses to “Homeward bound

  1. Exceptional narrative poem, Bjorn, especially considering the word limit. I love the added touch of the refrain.

  2. There is both grit and beauty in these words – the salt worn sailors hands and the reason to sail safely home..and the rhythm..like hoisting the mainsail..

  3. You have voyages in your ancestry? You condense all sides of sailing into this chantey. Nasty business, that big wild sea. I’m comforted that there are things that are bigger than us.

  4. You have worked in some wonderful sea imagery, Bjorn. I DO think you must have a ‘seaman’s heart’ somewhere deep within.

  5. Aye Mate, that is some tale..and I wonder does the albatross sail..wonderful image and I slipped easily into the song of the ship.

  6. I reread Moby-Dick and watched In the Heart of the Sea very recently. Your poem brings the book and movie to mind… The out of this world images, which dig into the heart until they make it clear that they are, indeed, very possible. The hurt, the adventure, the price the sea makes man pay…

  7. A wonderful tale of seamen sure, a sailing we will go. Still it seems a sad tale in the end, “crows pecking at their bones.”

  8. there’s an air of adventure and mystery in this poem. the lighthouse guides them home but who is sailing the ship?
    great imagery in the poem!

  9. You have an amazing ability to infuse words with such complete stories…the way you pick them and place them create astonishingly beautiful narratives 🙂

  10. I hear the sea singing in this, smell the salt and feel the wreckage of the ships and sailors bones — weary and broken from their journies. Yet it has so much hope in it, beauty and spirit. Thanks for sharing.

  11. The crows are pecking at the bones
    of sailors coming home again.

    There were always the poignant tales of those who ventured out who would come back again to their roots dead or alive. Captured very well here, Bjorn!


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