The seas, they twist and turn;
Their waves burn around
The cradle of this cargo hold
That barely holds me as I sleep.
Rough-rocked by breaking decks,
I drift away, half at rest
In the slum-dwelling of a mind
That dares to slumber
As the skies fall in
And my whole world shipwrecks.
Each one cries out to his own god;
To the god of his own neighbourhood,
The good and the bad,
To the deist diety of data and ambivalent reason,
To the unreason of luck
To coastguard demigods on far-off shores,
And to the misplaced Messiah of self.
Each one cries out to his own god,
Each one, except for me,
And so when no god answers back,
They cry at me instead.
“I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and Earth”
I say with puppeteer lips and Pinnochio’s tongue;
For I am running away.
Half-way to Tarshish though Ninevah calls
“But better,” says my drunken mind, “to rest
In sunken halls, shark-mauled with fish-picked bones.
I will not go to Ninevah.”
So, praying to my God though I do not
They listen to me and throw me overboard.
And only then, when an ocean in perpetual motion
Ceases to let me drown,
And the animals around me give way to Him,
Can I bring myself to ask for His forgiveness and say
“Take me, my God, to Ninevah.”