CROSSING THE STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA ON THE VICTORIA CLIPPER

DURING A STORM

 

It was the longest hour of my life

when I began to understand monsters

arising out of the sea, swallowing ships.

 

The pitch of blue menace

in its white collar

and only a dream of land

like a failed plan to reach

a planet in space.

 

Six foot waves rushing against the boat

from due west, bow rising and slamming down

like a body falling from a great height,

pushed from a ledge.

 

Deck hands tossed about like bowling pins,

passengers gripping their wits,

stomachs a flock of gulls,

my mind bloated with sailors lost

in water. 

 

Sixty minutes of near-open ocean

is enough to teach us the meaning

of our vast nothingness.

 

But this was a ferry full of U.S. citizens 

so when we finally docked safely,

the ones heaving and panting the most –

who stood to learn an immeasurable lesson –

wanted their money back, and shouted curses

at our only captain.


 Dan O'Connell (Copyright 2016)

Published in In Between Hangovers (2017), ed. Tasha.



HORSE KOAN

The police horse knows

it is a police horse


and stomps a hoof five times

to say “you’re under arrest” 


to the Captain that rides him.

It’s a little joke between them 


that only the horse understands.


© Dan O’Connell 2015

published in: Big Bell Magazine, Issue #9, 2016, ed. Russell Dillon


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