Craig Steele, Summer 2016

Final Cruise
Craig Steele

Can ye fathom the ocean, dark and deep,
where the mighty waves and the grandeur sweep?
― Fanny Crosby

When my days become an afterglow, and I a memory,
scatter my ashes upon those wind-teased waves

that raise the fiery, sunrise tides beyond the nearest
far horizon. I’ll be a shell returning to the sea,

cruising its antique surface where, below me,
flashes of silver school within a formless pool

of blue, and green turtles graze within Sargasso’s
buoyant brown-leafed pastures, as seaweed

scents the air. Where smoke-gray dolphins curl
through salt-laced sky and alabaster seabirds screech

in concert, scatter foam-flecked swells in piercing dives.
Where vermilion sunsets vanish behind shadowed peaks,

draining the world of color. As night awakes and far
stars glimmer and moonbeams gleam, I’ll

be back home, cradled by each briny surge,
rocked to peace within the fathomed sea.

Craig W. Steele is a professor of biology at Edinboro University in northwestern Pennsylvania. His poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, literary journals and magazines, most recently in The Lyric, Form Quarterly, Jellyfish Whispers, and Mused: the BellaOnline Literary Review. He also writes monthly poetry as “The Writer’s Poet” for Extra Innings, online.


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