Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
I’ve entered the Inner Passage

Thought of as the safe route to Alaska
Protected by friendly coves and sheltered bays
Shields voyagers from the uncertainties
Of the tectonics of a heaving Pacific

The Inner Passage
A compass point of
Jack London’s imagination
Spinning fantastic adventure yarns
of audacious Sea Wolf sailors
And rugged fortune seekers
Answering the call of the wild

The Inner Passage
Fraught with hidden shoals
And submerged rocky promontories
Lay just below the water line
Jutting on the steep banks
Of a glaciated mountain lined sea

The Inner Passage
Precludes an easy escape
To the boundless freedom
Of the open seas
One cannot sail away
One must firmly
grab the wheel
Guide the rudder
map the terra firma
Of a misconstructed life
The hazards and mishaps
Buried in the unconscious sands of the mind
interred to protect the heart
From the walking ghosts
Springing to life
The daily aches of living

The Inner Passage
Seemingly the safe route
Yet the hidden shoals
The ship wrecks
crews of stranded castaways
Call out for recovery, resurrection,
Watchfulness and recognition
Careful navigation is required
To salvage the wreckage
Rescue the unfortunate victims
Of the disasters and gales
I engendered along
my life's journey

The Inner Passage
A promise of rebirth
Reconstitution, recovery
“Can a man enter the womb again?”
The Gospel writer asks.
This inner passage may yet
Deliver me to a reinvigorated life
Let me uncover
What lies deep
In my tell tale heart
Let me tame
the mighty beasts of the sea
That rule the fathomless waters
Of my tumultuous emotions
May Thy Will and a better course
Heal my restive soul
My I finally free
my grounded vessel
From the false sanctuary
Offered by shallow shoals
Freeing me to dive deep
Into the hidden reefs
Of my heart and mind

May this pilgrim make good progress
May I accept life on life's terms
May I practice a well considered
engaged stewardship
May I never arrive at a staid place
And become wholesomely satisfied
with a serene state of being

The Inner Passage
Indeed a difficult voyage
Is underway
a new course mapped
I will pass through
The dark ranges where the
Commanding heights of
Fear, anger, resent and regret
Become nothing more
Then the precipitous peaks
Of a harmless silhouette
Fading away into the mist
Of yesterday's twilight

The Inner Passage
Aboard the Kennicott
Near Ketchikan, AK

Michael Nyman
The Piano
a note made on the Kennicott...
Mark Toney Oct 2022
The bar-tailed godwit
caught birddom by surprise
When word got out
just how far this bird flies

A juvenile Limosa lapponica,
satellite tag 2-3-4-6-8-4
flew nonstop from Alaska
to the Tasmanian shore!
13,560 kilometers nonstop,
eleven days and nights
A new world record for
marathon bird flights

“From Alaska to Tasmania?
The devil, you say!”
cried ravens and crows,
“Every bird knows
Claiming to fly 8400 miles
To the Tasmanian isles—
is the height of audacity!
No bird has the capacity
We protest with pugnacity
Demanding veracity!”

The godwits conveyed
a very chill groove
They had, after all
nothing to prove
having set the prior
world records in ‘20 and ‘21
A controversy was brewing
Would their achievements
be undone?

A commission was appointed
for a bird’s-eye review
into the facts of the matter
the truth to pursue
Wise owls were chosen
to adjudicate this claim
To settle once and for all
who deserved the acclaim

First item considered
had scientific backing
Since satellite data
Allowed accurate tracking
Of the tagged young bird’s
ultramarathon flights
The facts indisputable
No need for bird fights,
ending investigation into
this migration gyration

Bar-tailed godwits awarded
the Oiseau de Plume
for being the farthest nonstop
flying bird in the room
The Arctic terns too
received acclamation
For flying the farthest
In their migration—pole to pole,
24,000 miles each year
causing most birds present to
stand up and cheer
in spontaneous applause—
But not all birds were willing
To concede their cause

Displaying proclivity
to resist the festivity
The crows and ravens
As they stormed out the door
vowed in unison, wings clenched,

Mark Toney © 2022

Based on a true story with poetic license added for spice.

When was the last time you flew 8400 miles nonstop? A bar-tailed godwit flew nonstop over 8400 miles from Alaska to Tasmania from October 13 through 24, 2022, setting a new world record for nonstop bird flight.
Poetry form: Light Verse - Mark Toney © 2022. All rights reserved
Corey Jones Feb 2022
I have never been to Alaska,
nor have I extended any effort to know its beauty.
It seems too isolated and idealistic to house such an alluring landscape of frozen and serene natural monuments,
ones that often plaster post cards at my local office.

You are a similar beauty.
Your azure eyes.
Your silvery voice.
Your vermouth lips.
The shape of your legs spread on my coffee table.
Fantasies I have over the way you study me so deeply in nearly vacant cafes during the magic hour we seem to spend there so often.

You carry this grace that hides the messy and yet bottomless complications of an intelligent soul.
And as with Alaska, I could visit if you weren’t so frozen.
So stagnated by worldly conditions.
Ones that cannot be simply overcome.

So don’t ask me what I want.
I fear too often that I might expose the extremes of which I would venture to visit you.
The willingness to feverish warmth,
so that it might slow to soften our time spent in each other’s heads.
Jo Barber Sep 2021
The mountains powdered
with termination dust
hark the end of summer.
Soon the clusters of evergreens
will be coated in snow,
just as they were last winter.
The snow falls flake by flake.
It's in no rush to hit the ground;
it will melt once it does.
The fireweed has bloomed -
only towering stalks and wilted
magenta flowers remain.

The same type of peace
befalls my quiet life.
Slowly, I return to old ways.
Like footprints in the snow,
the tread of future days
looks much like those of the past.
CA Guilfoyle Apr 2015
From this island
water and more tiny islands
heavily treed with Douglas fir
landing ground for ocean otters
while orca whales glide by
spout and spray
the beach, broken shelled
puddled wells of tide pools
filling, spilling over again
brown bauble seaweed mingles
round algae rocks, barnacle shingled
here where the air breathes salt scented
water running wild with salmon.
Carlo C Gomez Mar 2021
On a clear day
I can see my sister

It's between six and seven o'clock
and a beautiful expanse of water, reflecting her cultivated shores

a nod, a smile,
through the vapor

castles in the air, ruling over
the available light

then in a moment, she's lost
half her height

and bent into arcades, like those
of a Roman aqueduct

evaporate before me she will

the fading of family, a returning
to cold white at the dawning
of an unfriendly expanse

Nathan Tom Dec 2020
Somewhere along the road
Frozen deep at home
I'm not dead yet
But I'm still alone

Melt me with a baseball bat
Crush me to bits
I'm not dead yet
But I still feel like ****
Me listening to "Alive" by Pearl Jam on repeat. God help me.
Kelly Mistry Sep 2020
Such a deceptively simple concept
When you have it
           you can’t describe it
           and take it for granted
When you don’t
           you are forever searching
           aware of the hole in your heart
           but not knowing
           how to fill it

Some say home is where the heart is
Where your people are
Wherever you lay your head at night

Comforting thought

But what if home is also a place?
On this earth
Tangible and corporeal
Rooted in the land or water
That each of us must seek
And may never find

It could be where we were born
Where we end up
Or someplace we have never been

What happens if you never find that home?
What happens if you did
And then you leave

Alaska is that home for me
Not a specific place or town
But the combination of
        braided rivers,
        wildlife that requires respectful distance,
        weather that demands preparation,
        tundra, bogs, and spruce

I doubt I will ever live there again
But it will always live in me
No one Apr 2020
The silence engulfs me,

the quiet sound that fills the Earth,

An ambient hymn covers each inch of snow

Never noticed, but always there.

All white; devoid of color...

but maybe it's okay to not yearn for green.

The lights in the sky dancing over the sky;

so strong you hear the static crackles within the air.

The stars that go on forever

but seem like they're only yours.

The grass covered in polished quartz,

the moon illuminating it;

making it shine brighter than the stars.

A covered sky, glazing over the stars.

The clouds whisk away the light,

claiming it their own.

Only then to pour over with more soft speckles.

You look up; breathe in the frigid zephyr.

The mountains that tower over you,

threatening to consume you without effort.

They block out the light;

the monoliths create a void,

one that is darker than your mind.
Next page