Stephen S. Yeandle

Rookie (New York, NY)

20 Years Ago This Night, - Poem by Stephen S. Yeandle

20 years ago this night,
far south of Flemish Cap,
the night relayed a prophecy,
to the maiden Andrea Gray.
Under a moon as bright -
as a gold doubloon,
where life remained a-glow
and curfews un-allowed …

A proud and happy bride to be,
soon with lasting sorrow, walked
along New England’s coast that
Octobers eve -

Foreseeing things beyond her reason,
or achievable control.
Then she felt the chill of mysterious distress,
as the breeze began to rise and coil its
way through the woodland stand nearby,
snapping whittler branches,
removing remaining leafs.

Incoherent and not accessible at all,
a voice seemed to call from just beyond the breakers,
then clouds appeared and darkness settled in…

She swiftly turned and walked away,
the sea unto her back.
Someway haunted she had been;
knowing well she would remain
for evermore -
Upon that saddened shore.

A lonely seamen’s maiden
devoted to his ghost.

Time has wandered by
with only slight regard
for the passing years.

While side by side beneath the sea,
still unbeknown just where,
the Crew and Captain lie.

Somewhere upon the unlit bottom
in silent tranquil stillness,
far below some surface storm;
or becalmed disinterest.
Beneath a loft of fathoms
eclipsing surface light,
a hundred feet of a swordfish ship,
now a steel hull ossuary.

No longer do these briny men
rail against the sea,
but harbored in her womb secure
they sleep their longest night.

Stalwart fishermen once were they…,
Beginning as mere boys -
answered to a wordless call
coming from within.

Who chanced to leave security
and soon transcend their age,
to become much older men
in but a single voyage.

Why would they dare the northern points,
of winters compass rose?

Mournful numbers yearly mount
two-hundred vessels sink.
No funeral march.
No dust to dust.
No bivouacked casket tents.
No folding chairs in shady groves,
for the friends and family -
of these brave missing men.

But don’t forlorn,
dispel your woe
for our next of kin.
It was their destined way
to reach their final end…

Somewhere out there
O’er them persisting life continues,
still un-abridged by death…

Main line spools still hauling back
miles of wire rope,
and acoustic wails still sound,
from North Atlantic winds…

Soliloquies of sacrilege still pass
the Captains lips,
when fifty miles of bated line
few fish have taken hooks.

Comments about 20 Years Ago This Night, by Stephen S. Yeandle

  • Rani Turton (4/8/2008 10:24:00 AM)

    This is an incredible poem. Thanks; (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Amanda Lukas (4/8/2008 10:21:00 AM)

    I'm really quite glad I stumbles upon this enchanting and mysterious piece. Magical. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 2 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Poem Edited: Thursday, April 10, 2008

[Report Error]