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Rounding the Horn

by Wayne Thomas (Age: 67)
copyright 05-25-2014


Age Rating: 13 +

That night was so cold and clear
I threw a stone and ducked,
half-expecting the sky to shatter.

(And I must admit I daydreamed
to the beat of our leather boots
on the frigid sidewalk,
her soft, gloved fingers twined in my own
in the deep pocket of my winter coat.
{fade}
We walked along the bustling streets
that crisp evening
she talking, telling stories,
I listening,
weaving my own stories
around her  delightful words:)

We were rounding the Horn
in a hurricane gale,
teakwood deck shuddering
beneath our feet
as barefooted crewmen
bustled about,
scuttling up and down the ratlines,
furling courses,
double-reefed topsail
and stays'l
the only cloth still set.

We held close as antarctic howl
blew salt spray and sleet;
the great clipper shivered like
a thoroughbred from one trough to the next,
tossed and lurched ahead
through slate-gray sea.

One mountainous wave followed another;
we thinking surely we were doomed.
Slashing cold rain
hammered against steel-hard canvas,
freezing as it hit,
drenching everything exposed to its fury.

And as the rigging sang in a Banshee wail,
we cowered in vain
beneath the after rail,
checking our safety lines
over and over and over,
clinging  to one another like
there would be no tomorrow.

Thirteen endless days and nights
of terror and waiting and praying and hoping
till at last a wet cold sun
seeped over far horizon,
deep green waters slowly calming,
as much as they do at world's end,
and with great collective sigh
we set about inspecting the damage,
brave captain dashing to and fro,
pointing here.
commanding there,
eyes puffy from lack of sleep,
we watching the slow white wake
tailing away from the stern
and slowly fading
with the drifts.

I became aware of a shift in the wind,
spindrift needles stinging my face,
growing pressure against my right hand,
my reverie shattering,
kicking, screaming into fading shards
as she steered me gently
out of dream,
hand tucked in mine,
into the warm arms
of the waiting club.
Damn!







Visitor Reads: 940
Total Reads: 961
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        01-27-2015     Mike Farr        

Hello Wayne,

Rounding the Horn,

Great story,

Dream weaver, from frigid gusts of jagged crystal sky, to the ocean swells of rogue terror that shake the southern tip, where mighty clippers lie stricken beneath,
The rigors of trepidation surpassed only by,

The waiting club,

I like your angle of attack on the escape from the realities and harshness of life, Softened yet by the severities and rigors of the subconscious.

I feel that I gathered the correct meaning; nevertheless it was a most enjoyable read, another winner Wayne, (Five Stars)



        07-27-2014     Jacqueline Ives        

A good combination of reality and daydream with
evocative imagery. Liked the unusual throwing the stone and ducking. Can picture the scene (or scenes). First the cold clear night, and then can smell the sea spray, struggle with the gale.
Did slightly wonder whether she was actually with you walking along the road to the club or whether this was part of the daydream. This is probably my fault, not yours. I think she was actually with you. Like the ending!

        06-28-2014     Alan Reed        

Wow .... so many images here. Enough to boggle the mind a bit. I really like the shattering of the sky but the piece is much too long to maintain my attention and rambles. I agree with May. If the write were concise it would be perfect but as it stands it just slides out of the shoe box. Otherwise... sound and thoughtful. - Alan

        06-08-2014     Jeff Holt        

As I read, I became engrossed. Becoming proverbially Walter Mittyish, feeling the sea spray, smelling the salty air and feeling loves touch.
NICE write, I really enjoyed it.
Thank you

        05-30-2014     Mae Futter Stein        

So nice to hear your delightful poems again, Wayne. Very interesting, but somewhat a little
hard to follow. Descriptions were perfect, but a little bit difficult to read. Perhaps it's just me. It is probably more of a man's poem, then mine. Thank you so much for sharing it. Hugs..

        05-26-2014     Frank Fields        

A pleasure and delight to read a work so well put together. Vivid imagery, suspense, conflict, love, and so many more wonders that you've shown here. Also made me very, very cold, hungry, and tired. Very intense writing, here, Wayne. Enjoyed and appreciated very much. =^.^=

Frank :)



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