Isabel Szurlej

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The Best Poem Of Isabel Szurlej

Helmsman William Lee (From Pirates Songs)

Once upon a time
Sailing ship was beached on ghostly island
Helmsman William Lee was the one
Who didn't die in the wreck
But he didn't live either
He stuck for years between worlds
Doomed to sail through an endless storm
Perpetuity haunted him
Remained his body intact
Though his soul became a skeleton
No one remembers now
How he ended up on our brig
He said he was a trained seaman
But no one heard of him
His steering skills were supreme:
All he was leaning on was the sun and the horizon line
(With sailing charts)
He could sail from east to west with his eyes closed
Never using ded reckoning
However sailing from north to south was hard,
Even for him because water is constantly moving
Going to the direction which is opposite and
There are no land-marks
In the coming tempest you are sailing
Into the enormous surge
Winds rip sails to shreds and there is only death
Between the devil and the sea
Finally it is her due
You can beg for the mercy
When you don't realize that the ocean is not merciful
William Lee knew that storm was coming and
How long it would last
He set the ship closest to the oncoming waves
We wrapped ropes around our waists
Tons of waters were falling on the prow
When the steersman kept us alive
It was terrifying and intriguing
How he dealt with storms
Each of us individually felt that
There was something out of this world about him
But no one said it aloud

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