Stormy petrel

In that tense roar on deck,

      there has to be music.

   It barges into all my secret

                places. And it keeps

 my pulse awake as I stand where the wind

     has stretched and pleated the waves.

          The frantic rolls crash deafening

         over the ship’s hull.


               It is rowdy music. In-your-face,

                 horny and hard

            and searches through my clothes

                     for ecstasy, roughs me up when it finds

                                  only shrinking flesh. Nothing

can be heard against it and

                   the brash scrolling waves

    push and pound under its treading pressure.


      I scan for the horizon. Music

        like this has a thundering

beat and I have no wings

                       to fly the whipped and stinging waves,

            no webs to dabble in the cold

pleats and heaving rolls. I turn

                      to cantilever over the rail,

to find a line in the grey wheals of the sky.


                  There is black like notation

                       scudding and whistling tunelessly

                           across the grey. Flak spray beating

                              at my face to blast off

           the expression. I could be flayed

                            and churned to bone and paste,

       lose my words, my witnesses heaving

                                 and smashed by the rolling waves.



                                                               © John Stuart