Boots On

i am trying to collect my thoughts. Old days of an old salt  are resurfacing, and i am trying to tame my feelings running amok with the fire on the USS Bon Homme Richard (LHD-6)  and watching “Greyhound” tonight with Maureen. i wrote this in what was both one of the darkest hours of my life and when i realized there was so much more, so much more. It was in 1978 at Texas A&M when i wrote the below: The ships are no longer “a thousand miles away,” but visible from my hill at the Naval Station, San Diego, three miles as the crow flies. One is still burning. i leaped to fault the current Navy two days ago, and i am ashamed of being such a hypocrite. And those ships, although much closer are even further away from me right now.

Boota on

no longer do i have a ship to steam;
the oceans upon which i sailed are
more than a thousand miles away;
my life is no longer entwined
with courses, currents, tides
coarse men of the sea;
academia flourishes here:
alive and well.
professors stalk truth
behind their horn rims in cow country,
walk the pebbled paths,
loiter in the shade of trees
where birds are killed at night
by good ole boys
to prevent droppings on the pebbled paths;
i sit in my fluorescent lit office
laughing at the moon through the window,
which forgot to go down
this morning;

i wonder
how many cowboys
with their boots on
in the streets
where the defeated general
grew into a legend?

if it rains,
i can watch
academia expound
let the world slide by
without getting my boots
on the bird dropping free paths;

the seas, though far away,
sometimes beckon
with simple fury;
i remember
walking the decks
in the eye of a storm
with my boots on.

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