With Boots On

This was written in 1977 when i was the senior Navy associate professor (can you believe that?) at the Texas A&M NROTC Unit. i think i was seasick in the same manner folks get homesick.

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
and
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
died with their boots on
in the streets
where the defeated general
grew into a legend?

if it rains,
i can watch
academia expound
and
let the world slide by
without getting my boots
muddy
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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