Last fall, I got to sail on a Virgin Voyages ship called Scarlet Lady, and I've been obsessed with her ever since. It may have been the best vacation I've ever had. Not a week goes by when I don't think about sailing on her again (or one of her sister ships). I know she'll figure into many of my poems, and I'm envisioning my future workshops on board.
This poem is only published here.
Scarlet Lady, I Call You To Me
Scarlet Lady traces infinity on the surface
like the Schoolhouse Rock ice skater.
Sky falls from blue to red. I wish to read
the ocean again, hard wind
shoving me around—it doesn’t dare on land,
not yet. But wind is coming soon
pushing us to a new port,
a new land at last. Is it fission?
Hope it’s fusion. It’s energy of a kind,
whispering here already. The way
your fingers tingle as you go about
your day, little tasks for little moments,
heads full of small imaginings and tiny salads.
The earth is a garden you’ve neglected
to tend. Ideas you’ve left
on the ground, not rooted, not watered.
Will water cover all again, to reseed?
It’s not inevitable. It’s not too late—
hope-buoys are scattered here and there.
Keep your eyes open. Waves slide shallow
on the beaches of the planet, reach in, reach out.