Liilia Talts Morrison

(August 20,1937 / Estonia)

Watery Cross


I sailed the oceans of my mind
so many windswept mornings
I hoisted sails with ropes entwined
salt spray whipped canvas awnings

I was an armchair buccaneer
held tight when Southern Ocean
tossed ice so I could hardly steer
my craft beyond slow motion

Time came when I could see Cape Horn
in all its deathly glory
time came I did things I had sworn
to never dig or quarry

Then one day as I watched a squall
from my small hut's blurred window
the rogue wave raised its foaming wall
A dark blue liquid billow

Somehow I managed to escape
though choking on much water
somehow a spark of life took shape
as soul in seaweed tottered

Tahiti, I now cried aloud
that's where i must escape
and sail my ship with head unbowed
my life to seek and shape

I left the forties far behind
while gripping my armchair
regrets of yore would soon unwind
and lay my conscience bare

The time came when I reached a shore
that Moitissier had found
as did Gauguin of fabled lore
to free their souls once bound

I never left my little room
although my heart oft wandered
to waves which hid a thousand tombs
unlucky lives now squandered

I did not challenge Neptune's wiles
nor tempt the Albatross
nor court sea serpents fiery trials
with slimy scales embossed

Oh no, my friend, the sails of hope
though once quite tempest tossed
one day threw me a saving rope
tied to a wooden cross

I sailed the ocean of my mind
so many windswept mornings
I hoisted sails with ropes entwined
salt spray whipped canvas awnings.

Submitted: Monday, February 24, 2014
Edited: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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