The Seafarer’s Knot

“Seafarer, where are
you? Are you near?
I can’t hear your call…
my sails are whipping.”

In truth, my sails
were ripping.
Shredded, tattered,
streamers, wind-torn,
though, it hardly matters.

“Ah, the wind… friend?
No, nemesis. It begins,
my story, that is, with
a careless journey, deep

Blue glass, the sea shone
like a mirror to Old Sun’s
soul. I hope he liked
what he saw. Yet, I,
trapped like a midge, or fly,
on the blazing surface
of his reflected eye.


“How long have I floated
in this quiet place? Internal Sea,
salty, deep… abyssal things,
primordial creatures, dive
deeper than I can see.
Born under the Cancer-stars,
I felt it safe to be here, at sea.”

I was mistaken.

“Exile suits me.”

My eldest refrain remains
the Seafarer’s Knot, strained
against the wind, my grip,
and fear of the pain.
I went inside, deep within,
and sought a new harbor
to launch anew, and begin
a peaceful journey toward
Seas’ End.

“I chose poorly. The wind that
sent me, rent the sails, bent me
over the rails, to spew and retch
against the seagulls’ wails.
Then the wind was gone…”

I was trapped, alone in my sea.
Lonely and starving, I watched
the stars, hoping that this
wasn’t what it felt like
to be free.

©️ CG Tenpenny, 2018.

One Comment on “The Seafarer’s Knot

  1. Wow. This took my thoughts to deep places, and different directions with each read.

    Not being able to hear the nearby seafarers due to the alleged loud whipping sails when yours (referring to narrator throughout) are actually destroyed alludes to intentional avoidance. (It reminds me of pretending there’s a bad connection on the phone to get out of continuing to talk to someone.) Craft-wise, you use the ship to sail the symbolism and begin a dual dialogue. Amazing! The wind being against you (pun intended) foreshadows an undesirable result. A “careless,” deep journey seems oxymoronic and piques my interest, and “deep within” makes it dual direction for me, far away from others in distance and depth. Like even if we found and reached you physically, you’d still be far away within yourself.

    The sea as a “blue glass” mirror for Sun is so non-cliche unique, and I see you at the water’s surface as the scorched fly, though you are actually fathoms deep. Soooooo cool. Astronomically speaking, your element is, indeed, water, so the fact that it is turning out not safe for you is kind of sad to me. But a crab also comes to land, can bury deep in the sand to stay safe there, close to the water, which still seeps in…

    Wow with the knot and second-guessed planned exile to the end and the wind having a claim on you and the pain at the rails… The end leaves the reader with much to think about, particularly the complexities of at what costs the “freedom” and “peace” come, and what that means for each individual reader. For me, it’s personal because my duality is the surface me, laughing and splashing with other leisure swimmers, but I would never, ever take them to my home under the sea….which made me just now think of myself as a secret mermaid, lol…which reminds me of a past poem of my own about that…which makes me think… ah, the places a poet and poem can take us.

    I like analyzing poetry almost as much as I enjoy writing it. When it’s been designed with so many layers… I’m having trouble believing the direction of your poems lately are merely streams of consciousness. They seem more intentional. I like them all though. You’re like a whole-album kind of artist in the playlist. 🙂


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