To Donald Crowhurst

(Lost at sea while perpetrating
a fraud in the 1968 single-handed
"Round the World" yacht race.)

The only sin of God
is concealment?
Mad Crowhurst wrote
                                     ream on ream
and then stepped off
his rust-streaked boat
posthaste;
the golden sun struck
mercilessly at the waves
exploding over his head,
and he saw as he
sank

under the keel
                            the faint fish
outlined
against the red paint.

Foolish man!
The only son of God
is concealed forever,
deep as the greystream
of Cipango.

 

And deeper still the
herald of the dawn,
Lucifer, reveals his
sheep's clothing
only
to the aghast inmates
of Hell.

The farthest sailor,
the old man in the park
whistle up gulls
and pigeons to keep them
company, and yet
His silence
strikes all dumb
at last;
not even
a bell rings
through the empty sky.

Crowhurst morsing,
bound to the radio:
the false cheery messages
pile up an indictment
heavy as the moon
                                  sinking
in the trackless sea,
and the triune boat,
one-in-three, rides
to the antipodes.

Teeth blackened,
become the skeleton
of his adventure and deceit,
Crowhurst found himself
face to face
with human and
heavenly concealment.

Like a bird of passage,
he flies on alone,
beyond our ken
hidden from us
and we from him.

 

 

About the Author: Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, Mind In Motion, Slow Dancer, The Antioch Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, The University of Texas Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Piedmont Journal of Poetry and a number of other on-line and in print poetry magazines over the years, many of which are probably kaput by now, given the high mortality rate of poetry magazines.

The author has been writing poetry since he was sixteen and lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. He was born and worked in upstate New York. He is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.