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February 15, 2023

Changing Course

full ahead into the wind and spray
salt in the air, I don’t care -

into the knots

half ahead and not looking behind 

who knows what might be catching up

I hear four bells

slow ahead hazards aplenty

storm on the horizon 

winds and waters freshening 

don’t want to end up on the rocks like Guillard 

dead slow ahead like going through a minefield

torpedoes at the ready

ghost of the Bismarck poised to strike


standby for further instructions

stop immediately what you’re doing

finished with main engines, no further progress 

dead in the water so to speak

dead slow astern moving barely above a drift

on the lookout for icebergs and growlers 

slow astern starting to backtrack

checking the charts in the map room 

half astern backing away from it all

ahoy captain, these are waters we’d be rash to enter

full astern back and changing course