Semblance

"Salt, sea, and air are we ..."

Words become the very waves on which the vessel sails in this collaboration with poet and writer, Eleanor Perry-Smith. As a nod to history, the poem was written in a sixteenth-century English manor and crosses the Atlantic in its use of Spencerian script, the first American-style penmanship. This script was first inspired by the flow of moving water; it circulates back to its original muse in both form and function as the script becomes the sea. The words themselves are the image and their cadence lulls like water, sending out whispers of a sailor’s tale.

 

Semblance:

"Salt, sea and air are we

who wander 'cross the globe,

Yet tale be told and night behold

the hour my shadow froze

 

Voyage set as those before

crate packing merrily,

We pushed from port forevermore

but unbeknownst to me

 

The tide set high, vessel set sail

sun skipping on the waves,

How can it be this shining sea

is also host to graves?

 

My thoughts turned bright and chest filled tight

with heaven’s purest wind,

A red sky rose to our delight

a gift from our glowing friend

 

The crew at ease with such degrees

our latitude assured,

Our gullets soaked in God’s brown ale

went sleeping filled with his word

 

But ‘ere the cover of the night

cast horrors yet unseen,

Water frothed and shook about

as souls rose from beneath to feed

 

A cry rang from the crow’s nest

and I, but half awake,

Rose to face with hazy grace

the threat my life to take

 

Yet we were unprepared as such

for on what our eyes did gaze,

the dripping apparitions

cast from the ocean’s deepest graves

 

Our fortune set to rising

the dawn began to wake,

but it eclipsed and so we missed

the chance our souls to save

 

The crescent of the orb

shown behind the cold moon rock,

Not enough glory to command

our banshees to stop

 

They swept throughout the vessel

the crew they petrified,

Covered in a binding frost

Yet somehow I survived!

 

The soul it did not see me

and in a manner I don’t claim to know,

Protruding light concealed my bones

and curse was cast upon my shadow

 

At last the light awakened

gulls called out to the day,

alone I sat upon the deck

all hands were swept away

 

Though the sun it blistered

on my back it bluntly shined,

As I stared upon the planks

I was lacking in an outline

 

Feeling as half a man

revenge grabbed hold my heart,

I would wait for those savage souls

and take back my shadow in the dark

 

As night sank in, once again

those spooks rose up to feed,

and surprised they were, as with my torch

I sought what belonged to me

 

Alas I found it nowhere

but the spooks I recognized,

They were my own crew from before

yet in their damned disguise

 

I was born a fighter

a sailor second best,

So sailing about forevermore, I roam

till my outline sinks back into my chest."

 

For more on Eleanor Perry-Smith and her writing, please visit http://www.ep-s.com/


Pen and Ink
Limited Edition of 300

Jake Weidmann © 2015



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