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Brendan Lorber / Poem

Under the Floating Sea

What's beneath fickle waves                                                   hello                        goodbye               hello
                 has faith in me - From down here I see you see invitations
                                                                         in red flags & the roadless opening of rough tides
                                                         by the scuffs on yr fast moving keel

                 You've been through the Motor Sea
                                 quiet as blizzards - pistons not yet invented
                                                                                       or secretly they have & waves that crack
                                                                         the water's smooth ceiling are the echo
                                                                                                                                     of arms that churn the floor

        The Flag Sea waves & waves all night
                                                     The sky reflects its stars behind a map of fireworks

        The Mapmaker Sea shifts forever
                                         Ships run aground in the neverending fog
                     & swimmers suddenly miles from the beach

        Navigators follow themselves to the horizon
                                                                   across the Sea of Mirrors

        The Amber Sea preserves centuries of commerce
                                                     Astrolabes of legendary explorers preserved like bugs

The Sea of Ships groans - an old living forest
        trunks grow into neighbors     Interlocked
                         freighters nose into others         Patching breaches
                                                                                     deckhands spelunk down wedges between hulls

        No matter where you head on the Sea of Dead Reckoning
                                                   you'll arrive at the dock you set sail from
                                                                                             a full year before you left

        The Cyclic Sea evaporates every spring
                                   Fish become fossils        It returns full of life in autumn

        The Boiling Sea warps your boat with steam
                                                                 makes watersnakes of planks

        The Perfect Sea looks circular from the moon
                                     but it's square & not even a sea when yr on it

        The Sea of Men Overboard isn't the best place
                       to learn swimming         They'd cut yr thumbs off
                                                  to keep you from climbing back

        But have you made it to the bottom of the Floating Sea?
Jealous of its floor even oyster pearls can't seduce it
                         They float near the surface by the keel of my boat
                                                     Opaque impenetrable sunlight cowed by its waves

The Floating Sea is a record of all water accidents
                                             Every shipwreck hovers on its surface and the crew
                                                                                       walks to safety   ankles dry as ash     No one drowns
        on the Floating Sea      waves unyielding as the deck

I refuse to dive tho I'm always diving     I sink
        into anything that touches me      Take off my boots
                                                             & I'll splinter thru the deck   Drown sputtering I toldjaso's as I go
                       I live beneath the floating sea where all seas are born
                                                                                & reach to you as you pass overhead