Three Musics

{From “Notes From a Boat” — living briefly on a tall ship}

I heard three muses in the dusk tonight
on the deck adrift in first dark
and day’s detritus, seine twine creeping from corners,
Nalgene sentries among wool coats and shadows,
traversed by melodies in a trio of tales

In pieces sheafed the ukulele maunders,
notes wandering from boat’s bow
among downhauls and outhauls
contentment and wishing answered
by ship and sky and the hesitant
hope to be human resting
on the heartwood shoulders of the windlass

Keeping company with coffee mugs and chore bills
the stereo yammers brightly from below,
sustaining the last tasks of evening
with alternative rock, a cell phone and a cable
tethered above the hot water kettle
which is ready for tea or transit

and drifting over those yellow rails,
the Bonnie Ship the Diamond goes a-longing
for the sea, the soul of hull and sail ―
the rich and melancholy consent
to be a sailor, a crew, an anomaly
in a distracted earthen world.