The Fire-ship

We are on a mountain ledge
my dog and I
watching foreign carracks
on a rolling moonlit ocean.
Sails flutter and canons roar,
but the sea swallows all human voices.
I am untouchable on shore,
Hidden by solitude.

Why are these vessels here?
Will any outcome matter?

Silhouettes of masts pass by the moon
above ever moving silvery foam,
Hatches open to spit
fire at their enemy.
In that illuminated instance human forms
plunge into the depths.

Smoke settles over icy water,
as a slow, glowing fog
encircles the perimeter.
It grows ever brighter
until a wall of flames
breaks through:

A burning deck!
The rigging on fire!

The ship creaks,
heaves from side to side.
Crashes echo
an intervening night
– and flames unite.

I lower my gaze.
Shadows dance
around bush and bolder.
It is too much.

I walk home in silence.

Michael Henrik Wynn

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