Friday, May 27, 2016

In Praise of Optimism

It was buoyancy, after all, saved Ishmael--
call him so--popping up without question
from a whirlpool that really sucked
Ahab down along with Hell's heart
and Satan's hoof and, let's face it,
a whole lot of partying.

Call it a coffin as lifesaver,
and there's your lemons to sweet beverage.
But don't forget the rocking hours
our boy spent alone in the sun unknowing
sweeter Rachel sailed in search of lost children,
that the ending of such a novel disaster
would so be plucked from its ample jaws,
from hours that to little Pip ticked all eternity
sharing madness with the skipper
like a sun fixed once and for all
in a barren sky they called heaven.

And Queequeg in his melancholy,
praise him how he ordered it sealed up
in tar. Praise him how he ordered
the proud chief's feather etched upon it.
Praise his melancholy at last grasped
by that praiseworthy remnant,
Ishmael and his optimism.
It's all that's left.

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