Seeking Safe Harbor ~ Philip Brent Harris
In darkness, cold, lost, alone. Where stands the promised tower?
We are hard upon the shore.
Where the light, the horn, the bell, the clarion call we yearn to hear?
Razor close, we draw near the shoal.
Night shrouded, sewn up by dark clouds and dense fog; some pray.
Jagged rocks loom.
Bravely we cower and cling, occulted by deep shadows black as death.
Eyes peer into Stygian depths,
Seeking, imagining, desperately inventing our destination, salvation.
Trusting fickle stars, the compass rose.
Phantom shapes loom on the land and from within the darkness,
From within us.
We are lost. What right do we claim safe passage through the storm?
The beacon lit or dark,
Every moment screams beware, chastises, mortality tells an eyeless skull,
Blessed, damned, or only eternity.
Finding a hoped-for light or tower tall may help avoid danger, tragedy,
Or it may not.
Life, adventure fraught, our only promise in this sweet life’s brief tenure.
No safe harbor here or anywhere.
Those who pray, reach out to hold an unseen, mythic hand in darkness
Would hide their fear.
They come, in sackcloth, ashes, mendicants with open hands, closed minds,
Lurking in alleys of paradise imagined.
While those who struggle, labor hopeful, lashed to the wheel, reefing sail,
Gritted teeth and sweat-damp brow,
Excoriate existence, exerting all their strength of arm and heart and mind,
Within the storm.
Transverse the same fathomless depths, sink or sail, to the same final port;
Against the gale, all equal.
Yet who brought our ship safely to anchor, who only rode along may matter,
Boldly, heads held high, the stalwarts come, replete, in their labors fulfilled,
Sorely tried, yet satisfied.
This world of opposites, dusk and dawn, predator and prey, weak and strong;
We all sail in between.
Omega and alpha, first and last, we have all lived as both lamb and lion,
Even within a single turning.
Creation blessed, in ripeness of time, we are the third truth, no other option.
Caretakers, protectors of the weak, the helpless, against uncaring predation;
Grown into over-time.
Vulnerability, disadvantaged lives seen by some as simply failure, full of blame.
The guilt of victims,
Mark mentors, and all who live to serve, guide, stewards of the greater good
As fools and charlatans.
Killer instinct holds one apex of this complex thing we call our life, you know,
In suits and ties.
Killers who live in naked, unvoiced terror of the mice, the rabbits, and the lambs,
Prey with fangs and razor claws.
Frightened game, defeated yet armed with hatred, desire, with guns and knives,
Casualties of class war.
Distantly the light shines, illuminates the route we’ve taken, the wrong course.
The captain gone.
Stunned silence. Hard-a-starboard, cries the frantic mate, heave to or all is lost.
Salvation a mirage.
Narrow our chances, though we struggle to survive. This we must, no matter who,
Desperate to steer clear
Prufrock’s fabled minute, the time for decisions and revisions a minute will reverse.
Can we weather this storm?
Will the breaking of day in sunlight, breezes, pierced by gull cries, find us afloat
Or on the bottom,
Our mettle tested, our courage to try rewarded? Or have we started much too late?
Time will tell, not I.
See more of my creative offerings and opinions at:
The Extra Mile
Art, shirts and other gift items