(Author’s Note: The above photo, Navy Man, is the inspiration behind the poem typed below as part of Image and the Word, a photography-inspires-art exhibit produced by Mankato poets Derek Liebertz and Yvonne Cariveau in collaboration with The Southern MN Poetry Club and the Bend of the River Photography Club of Mankato, Minnesota. I regret that I do not have the name of the photographer of this picture so that I may give him the credit he is due.)
Insatiable Clock-like Rhythm
The wind ruffles his shirt
A salt-scented breeze,
The color red bold against tan
Like blood on snow.
Looking ocean-ward, the old Navy Man stands
Sand shifting uncertainly under his feet
Remembering a time before his tall frame was stooped
When he left on an aircraft carrier for a place unknown,
His life uncharted beyond a four year plan.
Duty, Dreams, Letters from home, protracted Hopes committed to paper
The Memories of Kisses, So Sweet, Passionate, Tempting
And the Certainty of Youth were the Stars by which he Navigated.
Seeing waves crash and die against the shore he knows
That the adventure of living has a Scope as Wide as the horizon:
Living and Dying, Waxing and Waning, Cresting and Ebbing.
Planes taking off from the deck and returning like gulls visiting a favorite rock
Watches Starting and Ending
Sleeping and Waking
All of it an insatiable clock-like rhythm like breathing
Or the beat of your heart.
Deborah Goschy © 2014