Meditation #24    Where Away?

If you see this life as the best death has to offer/you would trade it surely for suffering and laughter/If you wrestle with the wreck of your life/write letters daily to your mistress/”We had it out again yesterday/Damn! Yr life is so easy on the way up….”/She writes:”Is that how it looks?”/In spite

of this/Said he:”I see nothing else”/Granted/”At the end of the day, do you have any energy left?
Any life for the living?”/Is it enough/This stuff resembles death/you can bet your life on that/
She badgers: “It is a record of fact what happened to the crew of the Essex/21 men/sunk

by a sperm whale in the Pacific/ 1819/eating each other in the end/Nantucket men
on Nantucket men”/Grins he:”My point exactly”/What do/”Wharves in storms, Amen”/
Much is left unsaid/”which brings me (& you)/or so I have found”/Frowns she:”the thing

is so dense now”/plus this/ and then:”I know we feast on flesh/What’s new?”/What else/
and back we go again/wretched in the extreme/Nor is that all/The Nantucket men excrete
each other out their puckered holes/ their swollen arses bent over the blackened bow/

the putrid stench of fetid diarrhoea/heave her up and away we’ll go/Far from the naked
Hawaiian women swimming in the port/the Quaker wives of the last resort take up their pens/
says they with laughter:”Where away?”/”Two points on the weather bow”/”how far off?”/

“a mile and a half”/”keep your eye on her!”/”sing out when we head right”/then
with suffering:”Stand by and lower for one a little more than half a mile to windward/
“make good your lay”/”the men are coming home/gnawing on their brothers’ bones”

—Gerald Beirne, Fredericton, New Brunswick, CANADA