Ishmael in New Bedford: A Mesostic Poem



                                       Wind screams

                     along the shore, strong cold gusts

                               blow angry

      clouds and the scent of fish from New Bedford,


                                      raising ridges


                                      of bubbles

                          waves high as the top of a hull.

                                       Now dusk drops;

                                 waves wash the rocky land


                       and night fills

                    with calm, brightens;

                                   above, the archer,

          belted with light, sword

                                      at hand, gleams

                   above a quay.


                                       Now as cold clutches me


             holds my body, grasps

                             me with icy claws,

 I daydream I’m in Sumatra


            in seas far from here

                                      rocking on gentle

                                     swells under such a sky.


                                       O, please, hunter, find me

                                a warm place to stay

                                  tonight, lead me

                                      to a lit fire, scalding tea,

     a bed with warm blankets.


     Tomorrow, after the glittering stars have faded

             and the sun is aloft,

                                       I will seek passage on a whaler,

                                   but now, I will walk under

                             Orion till I find

                             a place to stay

                                    for tonight,

         then I’ll make the sea my home.