The Oarsman

Dennis L. Siluk

The Oarsman, at the oars
The Arctic winds: the galley,
Captain at the helm—

The ghosts of leprosy—
The dead men from the sea,
No sun: pestilence

All could see the cliff-tower
The hour draws near—to trembling
Hissing: from the oarsman’s lips

Passengers bellow: with arctic-eyes
Oozing the demon with a kiss
Coming closer to land and mist

The dead sit up within the boat
The Polar-demon, rows and rows
Utter cold, no miracles—

Lo, the harbor: the ores stops
Deathly, dread-ly —no one talks
Ice-berg- eyeballs—stares and stare

A tide of intolerable silence—
Flows and ebbs, and flows again
For hell’s henchman: Agaliarept

Flung to the wide side of the vessel
“You will serve me well,” he echoes:
The voyaging is now total.

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