Sunday, January 15, 2012

Animal of the Seas by Bob Atkinson

Animal of the Seas

(c)2012 Bob Atkinson

wandering through the oceans
the ship circled coasts
where people lived the lives
of traditions well toasted

toasted to by those who thought
continuance was success
of what had before been lives
lived out for the best

plowing through the waters
freed from cables and chains
this large animal of luxury
gave satisfaction in place of pain

unseen below the keel
unseen by others' eyes
the beast with throbbing engines
passed over hardened sands

sands upon which flora anchored
and fauna roamed and bucked
when waters left the oceans
below their uncovered crust

but now the large strange animal
which floated upon the crests
of waves of endless waters
kissed the lands that it had blessed

the Captain was surprised
to feel this kiss of death
of the sands below the vessel
knew his career was at an end

frozen, his instincts churned
his mental processes stopped
tried to find a consummate response
while asking for damage assessments

instructed helm to veer toward
the Island of Giglio
he would save the passengers
by sacrifice of his vessel's hull

again the steel animal ground
this time upon a rock
tearing into deeply chewing
its rivets and steel plates

impaled by this large stone
the hull no longer held
water back, the ocean
was by the ship inhaled

bunks that had been slept in
by crews of many nations
and stores of goods to be used
to produce smiles in patrons

flooded down the hallways
never to be used
as they were intended
was the end of this cruise

the crew responded faithfully
did the best they could
but this situation being new to them
wasn't easily understood or stable

those who should have known
what was the ordered way
of ship evacuation to safety
let their communications stray

stray to words of their home tongue
not understood or heeded
by those who lashed the lifeboats
not dropping them neatly into the ocean

the ship assumed the form of
a sea animal in distress
leaning over on its side
wanting only a moment's rest

passengers did what they could
the crew did the same
and rescue boats and helicopters
jumped into the saviors' game

co-ordination wasn't needed
each assistant knew his job
saving as many passengers
as dictated by the hand of God

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