Swell was finally set afloat, leak-free!!, by my crew of boatyard friends, ending an era I won’t soon forget. 11 months in total spent there since August of 2008!? In the wake of my sea freedom, I got inspired to write a poem about the place that brought me so many character-building experiences and life-long friends:
Ode to the Boatyard
Toxic pimple on the face of Paradise,
rankled obnoxious yellow.
Dreams sail in from here and afar, a bit worn,
to be plucked from Sea.
neat sailboat rows.
Lundi to Vendredi, Seven thirty,
On cue, Symphony commences:
Sanding, grinding, painting, glassing, soldering, patching, sawing, spraying
The tractor growls awake, Jacques always humbly focused.
Trades tickle the passing clouds.
Captains’ brows furrow,
And the green mountain bathes in passing rains.
Chickens cluck and scratch.
Dragonflies inspect morning puddles.
Hammer, tap tap taps rusty steel cradles, Wil pounds away his troubles.
Ants find purpose among scattered debris:
used masking tape wads,
stiff paint rollers,
yellowed latex gloves,
scraps of sandpaper and candy wrappers,
peppering pebbles and mud.
Powersander whines, Taputu–Marquesan Camel–operates in measured strokes across another faded hull, unabated by fatigue.
Tiare flowers casually open to this day.
Crescent wrenches ping and tink in Thierry’s bumbling wheelbarrow,
Angelfish flirt and twirl and flounce in his shadow below sagging dock slats.
Gastric Intermezzo, one fleeting hour.
Skin cringes, eyes squint from Shade to patch of precious Shade.
Stray dogs wander in off the streets,
Yellow’s eyes haunted of hunger, ambivalence is his lumber.
Big brown Mami wheels in on the lunch truck, Bon appetite! Tama’a Maitai!
calories, just calories to get me through this day…
Inaudible clock strikes, the secretary pulls one last heavy drag,
Flicks the butts.
Invisible magnet pulls her back to that seat in the office,
Feigns friendliness behind the glow of Computer Screen through an afternoon storm of clients.
Rats await darkness in the loft above.
Ariel quacks orders and waddles among the cloaked, masked resin rollers,
Silly as an angry duck.
Geckos giggle down from the rafters,
While Roots sip H20 from amongst spilled acetone, foul dust, septic stew.
Yachties climb and descend steel ladders,
Urgently paced and prodded.
Here Only to go There.
Splattered with paint, battered hands, sweat-matted hair, tired backs.
Tasks in perennial bloom.
Local teen lovers crouch in contented silence between abandoned hulls.
Dirty Rags wear tales of tasks completed.
Old Boat Batteries gather near Used Oil Tank,
discussing former voyaging days in the shade of Corrosol Tree.
Weeds push out from under abandoned sea veterans:
Stack of Smashed Rudders,
snaking links of Rusty Chain,
Tired Steel Cables,
lay silent in retirement.
Tools cleaned and laid to rest,
tall garage door squeals closed.
The Kids appear,
barefoot, grinning, loose,
Afternoon sun melts their boatyard playground buttery gold.
Fishermen wander to the Jetty.
Do those grime-caked feet belong to me?
Sweat cools in Evening breeze,
Sweet mango orange.
Accept, and find Beauty.
find Beauty, and love Now.
and know Peace.