Black Boatman

As the last light of day was gathering deep down in the sea

and shimmering spray was calmly soothing the shore,

I wandered along, and the surging laid bare my memory,

until I realized: I’d been here once before.

And I could hear its eager, ceaseless calling,

whispering of mysteries that seemed both strange and dear,

and through the shadows that like shrouds of rain were falling

slowly and quietly a vessel was gliding near.

I felt inside a pang of sudden longing

just to jump on board and leave those darkling sands

– the dumb routines, the muted restlessness of living –

to find another home no matter where I’d land.

And then I saw on board the lonely figure,

cloaked in darkness, and hooded was his face.

He stood there motionless and I knew he watched me

with stern and piercing all-too familiar gaze.

„Where have you come from, where are you heading to?

How can you sail when no wind blows?“ –

„Why do you ask – it’s you who were calling me.

Yours is the boat and by your course it will go.“

His voice resounding with my own tired desolation

and at my back a steady breeze began to blow.

Somewhere deep inside I yearned for this departure,

but even deeper I didn’t want to know.

He stood and watched, and his unseen eyes

were no more than blind mirrors of my soul.

„This night alone I can carry you over

to your own lands where you’ll be safe and whole.“

And I could hear the eager, ceaseless calling.

I turned and ran away and cast no glance behind.

And in the shadows I cried with desperation

for the loss of the unknown infinities of my mind.

Crystal 11/04/04

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