Red sky at morning ... sailors take warning !!!
First dawn's light steals away over the towering Cascade Head.
A heavy autumn dew dripped from the Whaler's bow rails
as sun rays flashed like beacons from rain-forest headlands on high;
where Pacific Northwest rivers September equinox dawning ebb
pushed us mercifully unto the chilling stiff autumn sea breeze.
Dappled sun reigning through the pinkish purple morning sky,
patchy fog adorning the awakening inshore headlands atop the bay,
shining from the pearly gate’s mission bells higher ground ,
beckoning another fisherman lost and found at sea come home...
Heaven’s lighthouse alerts the celestial sky
of the impending eminent soul journey,
highlighting the distant horizon’s breaking swells
capped of white meringue sea foam.
Sea gulls escort precious cargo's final voyage,
gliding gracefully in the shadows of the firmament,
our lungs filled , revitalized with the salty air's poignant elixir
Pelican vanguard's white light reflection guiding our vessel seaward ,
alone in a perfect storm...
Northwest gales standing up the ebbing tide’s uprising crescents,
waves pounding in rhythmic flow;
calling all angels! ― my ruminating mantra and plead
The Clatsop Spit’s dangerous song resounds the stark reminder,
life's raucous changing seasons, prevailing winds beckon
with the allure of siren’s call,
that now is nearly here ...
The countenance of flowing salty tears liberating release ,
vast ocean's raw sheets of saltwater spray would not hide .
He just sat and stared at the seaward horizon
while the telltale tears flowed, perhaps an unspoken dream
of a merciful final surrender with eyes wide open,
love steering our vessel west where sun shines to set ;
now far beyond the visible ache, for mine own eyes blur
trepidation teardrops rained as sheets of frothing sea.
The wordless conversation known, the compass full circle drawn
like the sacred salmon's cycle ends to nourish back ancient sage
unto its own mandala ― forever beginning life, eternally drawn
through river estuaries ― stirred by ebbing infinite tidal pull ...
There is an oppressive weight found within paternal understanding,
and yet, as certain as the dawn promises the inevitable setting sun ;
all things must pass as sure as all things begin ,
someone you love most, longest in short life ,
has come forth to break bread at sea as the torch is passed ,
sharing life for the last time comes too soon ― with little warning ...
There was an emotional unidentifiable hollow pang brooding ,
as if letting go gradually, yet potentially instantly,
that drains every last drop of a breaking heart ache ;
waning strength swallows down hard ― stifled sighs ― lumps in throats, words better left unsaid ― only cleansing tears flow, knowing when they start to purge, they might not want to stop again.
This moment's final autumn’s changing season’s waning ebb
That final riptide will forevermore change all other rivers’ flow
where oceans set mother earth's rivers free until the end of time ...
My father ― a man's man who seemed to find a peaceful Zen ;
an unfinished life was reborn that day to see it through
as my hands grasped the wheel , compass held steady.
The son to carry on the weight of love and compassionate understanding ;
love born in the blood inspired the fortitude to carry on.
As a life flashed before my eyes on that final raging Pacific sea,
instincts mused by ancient Tyees’ souls stirred drawning sun's
radiant rays of perception ; accepting this life on earth
would never be the same but would just simply be ,
knowing this light's shine will never glow quite the same again ,
yet radiate a more deeply vivid luminosity...
We melded into that first day of Autumn,
falling silent , and yet our heads held high
There was nothing left to be done but pray with eyes wide open
“spirits of all oceans of mother earth …
show the sacred salmon's tragic heroism, the way back home to peaceful waters”
Few words were spoken as everything was silently said.
"To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose,
The Outrage cleaved the surging Pacific's heave, knuckles white,
the wheel held sway, climbing mountainous long ocean swells
breaching the south jetty's giant boulder walls ;
there rolls the mighty Columbia jaws,
where all Rivers suffuse with vast oceans, eternally free ...
.... Harlon Rivers .... September 22nd . 2013
With fondest loving memories of my father's life and times shared~
So much of this day's memory is deeply repressed and each year I try to free a little bit more but each year passed has been privately circle filed, yet I try again to be set free.. Purging emotions so intense that they are nearly blacked out... I did not realize the basis of depth until later private moments... It was in fact the day of the Autumn Equinox a few years ago, a final birthday celebration of sorts combined with bringing the Boston Whaler Outrage, home. Dad passed 1 week later after this trip from Pancreatic cancer ...we spend the final 72 hours alone together at Hospice after his birthday..."Crossing Over"
Not unlike myself, there was an inherent restlessness to my father. We found a peace, unlike any other ― one with nature. He used to like to say he felt at home on the ocean. He went out as many as 30-40 miles alone on the rare occasion the Tuna came that close to the NW Oregon ― SW Washington coast...That may not seem like much in land miles, but you cannot see land from that distance and the Columbia River's confluence with the Pacific Ocean is known as one of the most dangerous bar crossings in the world. I thought Dad's life would have a very different ending...this one never crossed my mind, letting go is far more difficult than hanging on ― rivers
June 18th, 2017 Fragments of the Seahttps://hellopoetry.com/poem/1954243/fragments-of-the-sea/
June 12th, 2012: Memories of My Father's Traces...
A tribute to my father ... https://hellopoetry.com/poem/1995383/traces-of-youa-fathers-tribute/
Thank you for reading ― have a great summer :)