The Shipwreck

"All men shall be sailors, then, until the sea shall free them"--Leonard Cohen

They stood on the beach with poles,
not to rescue those wave-palsied souls who gasped their last,
but to push them further out to sea.
"A storm hit us," said the swimmers, slowly cartwheeling back under.

"No," said the beach-folk, pursing their lips in distaste for the lie,
and shaking their heads. "There is no climate crisis,
and therefore no winds such as you describe."
With that, they poked the confabulators with their poles until they sank.

"Build a wall!" came the cry. "A sea wall!"
Not to protect from invented storms, but from very real strangers
arriving unwelcome despite the poles, some still moving and coughing,
some insolently still.

In the end, order was restored and the glubbing drowners dispersed.
"We will pray for them," said the beach folk,
thinking themselves quite grand in their largesse.
The children, who had come to gawk, were sent inside as a precaution.

"After all," said the mayor, gazing nobly into the middle distance
and gripping his bible with its tales about good industrious fishermen,
"this is not appropriate for youngsters to see;
besides, you know what they say about sailors."

for Kerry's shipwreck challenge. Thanks for filling in for me!


Sioux Roslawski said…
Shay--I think this time in politics is inspiring... in some good ways and some bad ways.
HRBennett87 said…
Beautiful way to incorporate our current politics. On that note: it makes me quite angry. ><

Good job though! :)
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Only you could come up with such brilliant irony , totally nailing the screwball politics of the day. Fantastic!
hedgewitch said…
The tone here seems solemn without any artificial overtones, almost impartial in the cruel light it sheds on the darkness within our current psyche, yet also so incisive it conveys all the heavy freight of this moral shipwreck as easily as those dark and grinding waves that beat away our shores, leaving us stranded on our individual ideological islands--pushing away our fellow victims. There is nothing quite so final and so eloquent as those who arrive '...insolently still.'
Kerry O'Connor said…
Yep! This is bang on target! Reminded me of how coastal folks would murder the survivors of shipwrecks so they could claim the spoils.. The present day scenario is somehow worse.
Mama Zen said…
Boom! And lots and lots of bite.
Margaret said…
What a peace of history (as mentioned above - killing off sailors to get the ship's stash has been going on forever) woven into the modern day political scene. Cleverly done - and the tone is spot on.

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