Ship in the Night
Falling from the ether, coming in on the tides
the Age of Aquarius arrived
with its pole star to the west
and California weather,
a time for the love-in, the street fight,
for the sorceries of the blues guitarist,
gentler strings for the broken-hearted.
The needle in the groove
scratched the tunes of a new troubadour.
In the heaven-on-earth small house
I was the boy who listened for hours
to radio broadcasts from a ship in the night.
A ship far from shore, with nowhere to go –
that hoisted a flag of convenience
above its cargo of songs in the morning,
songs in the moonlight,
the chanson of the chanteuse
who kindled desire in every man she knew –
my night-companion who sang me to sleep
with her blues that she blew
in on the tides and out of the ether.
from A Song of Elsewhere, Dedalus Press, 2015