I’ve been asked the meaning of this poem a few times.
I’m not giving it away that easy. Let’s just say I’ve always wanted to pay homage to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
The Curator of Shipwrecks
It has taken him centuries to measure
the rain near the shores, and longer still
to learn how far out to sea the scrolling
thunder scrolls. He taught himself the ways
the waves eavesdrop on the murmuring of tides.
He translates the whispers of undertows.
He knows the lore of driftwood from shipwrecks
long ago wagered across the bed of the ocean floor.
When the broken flotsam breaks the sands
he’s waiting there knee-high in water
to decipher their circular patterns
like the weathered runes of ancient stones.
Their wooden stories like our own, interrupted
by distant calls foaming through the fog:
an incandescent song useless to ignore,
drawing us towards the cutlass rocks.
Note: Poem first appeared in Dressing Room Poetry Journal in 2013.