TALL SHIPS

     by Kip Knott

All the houses of the suburbs
navigate under the jerry-rigged
masts of TV antennas
and billowed sails of satellite dishes.
Cocksure men strut the decks,
certain they can mow down
the Nor'easters that buckle
their mizzens. In the holds below,
starved women bail bilge
in vain as basements fill with electric-blue
water and slowly list in seas
of reclaimed strip mines.
Each night bouquets of rescue flares
bloom lazily in the dark,
but no one from the tall ships
will risk his life to rescue
such lackluster and incompetent crews.
Maybe the world should be flat,
with an edge to wake up to
just before slipping over
the endless falls.
Raise your glass! Sing the songs
of pirates and Flying Dutchmen,
the aimless songs of fog
and grog and salty-dog drunkenness.
Feed all the kiddies to the sharks;
spare them from a life adrift
in a smog-green world where the air
they breathe erodes the stars,
where remote controls,
not astrolabes, guide them,
where all the captains jump
overboard nightly,
where their wives, having given up
themselves, now walk the planks
of each otherís bodies.




THE POTOMAC
2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Ste 443
Washington, DC 20006

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