the dream of the sailor

The black cats arrange themselves in pairs by starlight,
on polished black marble by a black lapping sea.
They bow to each other — yes, they stand upright —
and wait till the band leader clicks, one, two, three….
The dance begins gracefully, with great formality,
under the stars, on polished black marble, by the sea.

Where are the trees? There are no trees,
only shadows between stars
and the rising sigh.
This is the dream of a sailor
alone in a small boat,
asleep under canvas
on a calm, endless sea.

The wind takes a photograph from his fingers.
The ocean erases a name from his memory.

This entry was posted in art, dream of the sailor, is this love?, love, poetry, stories, waking dream. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to the dream of the sailor

  1. Lirone says:

    This is beautiful… I wish I was able to create a picture in response to your poem – it would be fun to explore all the different textures of black that you bring out in the first verse. And the last couplet brings it to a lovely, mysterious close.


  2. rick mobbs says:

    thanks lirone. please feel free to try your hand at a picture. i certainly would post it here. i would love to.


  3. Rick, this is beautiful. I think Ada would love to have this read to her as a bedtime story. Especially if she likes cats and sailing. Speaking of Ada I have a poem for you and your family I thought you might like. I wrote it in July and am just now getting around to posting it. Sorry for the lateness. Have a nice day.



  4. johemmant says:

    Michelle made the comment that just occured to me…….it has the lovely, lilting rhythms of a lullaby.


  5. rick mobbs says:

    Michelle, I loved “Adithia”, I’ll send it to Naomi, she will, too.

    And I’ll try the story as a lullaby!


  6. Paul says:

    That is lovely, gently lapping and rocking poem with its sounds and rhythms like floating in a boat. Lovely.


  7. rick mobbs says:

    Thank you, Paul.


  8. Fitch says:

    “Only shadows between stars and the rising sigh.”

    Wow … that is beautiful!


  9. marlowe44 says:

    “The wind takes a photograph from his fingers” great imagery here, and makes one wonder if it were a real photograph or a just a graphic memory, or a snapshot of his old cat, or his old lady love. “The ocean erases a name from his memory”, hers, his? The symbolic nature of the poem haunts me. This could be death disguised, gently guiding him from under the canvas, as he dreamed of cats and cold black marble, his slicker and canvas black as night as well, with only his great gray beard catching the slender reeds of fire coming up over the horizon, a new day, or the end of days. I found a terrific painting of an ancient mariner by David Cochran to post over the poem on FFTR.



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