Monday, March 5, 2012


Chapman’s Piloting, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling

Was it your idea or mine
to spend one winter

evening each week side by
side in the high school

lunch room years before Power
Point or video

or your flagging heart gave one
last gasp, the room filled

with hopeful sailors soaking
up the arcana

like sponges, the Commodore
leaning into the

gale of our ignorance from
the flying bridge of

the varnished plywood lectern,
gripping the slanted

top like gunnels, epaulets
flat as carrier

decks while you took notes in your
crude block style and I

flipped through Chapman’s Piloting,
Seamanship and Small

Boat Handling searching for clues
on navigating

the uncharted water where
we bobbed, grasping for

flotsam in the wreckage, our
Mayday feint, every

man for himself, stark code of
the sea prevailing

as we drifted off, Crusoe
without his Friday. 

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