Oskar Hansen

Nautical Terms - Poem by Oskar Hansen

Nautical Terms

The night above me is like an elastic balloon, a plane penetrates
flies through and disappear only its engine roar remains and echoes
into the infinite. I can see its light, green for starboard and red for
portside. On a tramp ship I served on, the old captain, when he got
up on the bridge in the morning, open a locked drawer he only had
the key to; read on a piece of paper and closed the drawer again.
When he resigned, the first officer took over, he was curious about
the piece of paper, opened the drawer and found a folded piece of
paper. On it was written: right is starboard and left is portside.
It is good to meet people who know they are fallible.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 17, 2010

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