A Boy in the Sea

by Michael Shindler (November 2019)

 

The Sea (1), Emil Nolde, 1947
 
 
 
A boy in the sea beckons forth
Amid the blue, amid the black,
Amid the arc hung in the north,
And yet I am so far aback.
 
The sun in glory sinks below
And the stars take up their courses.
Thus, the great sea traces their glow
On the face of ceaseless forces.
 
The high moon shines with stolen light
On what should be in darkness deep,
The cold world of this, our last night:
A world that ought to be asleep.
 
Without sleep, the world will not wake,
And yet perhaps it is sleeping
And this is but a dream, a fake,
Dreamt up as penance for weeping.
 
And if this world is but a dream,
Then, as with Jonah in the whale,
My breathless song has but one theme,
Which echoes past a living veil.
 
Like a whale is the dreaming world
Swimming in some primordial cup
Where wan angels like waves are hurled,
And yet here I am, swallowed up.
 
All things, great and small, have their place:
The stars in perfect courses pent,
The moon in orbit, keeping pace,
And me in the world, born and bent.
 
What right has a mere man to pray
Himself out of his mortal post,
To say, "World, cough me up today,
Your belly is a monstrous host"?
 
And yet I dream of waking back
Amid the arc hung in the north,
Amid the blue, amid the black,
Where, afar, a boy beckons forth.
 
 
 
__________________________________
Michael Shindler is a writer living in Washington, DC. His work has appeared in publications including The American Conservative, The American Spectator, National Review Online, New English Review, University Bookman, and Providence. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelShindler.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast
 
Comments
12 Nov 2019
John L Jordan
Amen, brother. Amen.


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