mike ruthenbeck


The Eulogy Of The Boobie - Poem by mike ruthenbeck

Standing now, mid-ship on a starboard tack,
Close hauled, just aft of the flogging Genoa’s lee,
Clutching a shroud as I peer in the black-
Ness of night upon the lonely high seas.
The wind is billowing hard through the main
And whistling round all through the rigging
A wafting scent tastes of approaching rain
The lithic twin hulls through fetch are digging
With magnificence; so sailing, am I,
A week has it been since land has been spied

With minor adjustment, sailing beam reach,
Trimming the Main and Genoa with haste
In this Nor’easterly coarse to Long Beach
From Oahu leaves little time to waste
Thus trimmed well, she sails ahead at nine knots
Underneath ten thousand glistening stars
Silent questions and answers have I brought
To dwell on sailing ‘tween Venus and Mars.
A thousand miles to the closest shore
Makes loneliness feel alone all the more.

Now sitting on the helm peering round,
And just before I light my doobie,
I jump at a sudden impacting sound;
Headlamp reveals a little white boobie
Has crashed landed on the deck next to me
Clearly exhausted by his labored breath,
He also has been out braving the sea
And now is facing his untimely death.
For a thousand miles from land are we,
At least a thousand miles flown has he

So the boobie and I sit together
Watching through the darkest hours of night
I feel we two are birds of a feather
Preferring a view with no land in sight
But till morning I fear he wont last
In resting he has fits of cruel spasms
His head is drooping, his time ticking fast
Soon crossing boobie Styx’s chasms
We have only just met, boobie and I,
And it pains me deeply, watching him die.

I sit plaintive, in the wind with my tea,
Before my friend boobie a few bread crumbs
But this wild bird refuses meals free
o prideful, I see why men think he is dumb.
My heart breaks, watching poor boobie suffer
Perishing due to over exposure
I had thought myself to be much tougher
Now I struggle to maintain composure
For a thousand miles from land are we,
At least a thousand miles flown has he.

Why have you come way out here just to die?
Had you preconceived your now certain fate?
Sailing, the same chances taken have I
But in life, for death, shall I patiently wait?
The nations of men and boobies alike
Tonight sit in comfort upon the shore
Yet boobie and I will easily strike
Away from land, leaving nations to chore
About how to spend their time before death
Wasting in worry nearly all of their breath

So now, holding back a torrent of tears,
My hands shaking as I lift his body
I commit him to the deep with three cheers
And even though his funeral, so shoddy,
I bury my face in my hands and weep
Alone on night watch, once again am I,
My closest friend now in eternal sleep.
A thousand miles until we make land
Where the boobies sleep in flocks in the sand....

Topic(s) of this poem: adventure, death of a friend, life, ocean, sailing, voyage

Form: Sonnet


Poet's Notes about The Poem

I wrote this while sailing across the pacific from Hawaii. as far as a narrative goes, this is a true story. for what ever that's worth...

Comments about The Eulogy Of The Boobie by mike ruthenbeck

  • Eugene Levich (11/3/2015 9:51:00 PM)


    A fine, evocative poem: man alone with nature, the sea, and death. I enjoyed reading it! (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, November 3, 2015



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