Friday, September 10, 1999

Stranger in a Strange Land

The tang of open sea
That for days has cleansed my nostrils,
Gives way to rancid smells of decay.
Harbor sounds invade.

Swarthy dock workers
Shout as they fling ropes upward
For deck hands to catch and knot fast
To great iron hooks.

The ship is still now,
But for a gentle swaying to and fro
In the dirty water that lap-laps
Against her flanks.

From the street,
Voices fill my ears with meaningless gibber.
Suddenly foreign shores crowd my soul,
And I long for home.