ChristArt.com
Login | Support
BECOME A MEMBER
Images Activity Sheets Books Poetry

Undaunted

by Christopher Hostettler

Black clouds form on the horizon
As the sea settles with an eerie calm.
My shipmates, like the sea, grow silent,
Their faces revealing vomitous qualms.

From the helm, the captain watches,
Pond'ring the unfolding scene.
He walks the deck, inspects the sailors,
Then calls all shipmates to convene.

"Men," I hear the captain say,
"We sail for paradise this day!
We stay the course! We hold the line!
Come what may! Come what may!"

His beady eyes appear dead set
On visions of some distant land.
His speech continues, brief, direct,
Fiery, with bold command:

"This vessel carries the hope of man!
Though hell itself shall bar the way,
We'll lock horns with this devilish day!
Come what may! Come what may!"

As the captain barks his orders,
A stiff breeze begins to blow.
Uneasy feelings rise within me
As angry swells begin to grow.

The shipmates quickly take our posts,
Checking sails and masts and booms,
Gripping ropes while holding hopes
This blust'ring sea shan't be our tomb.

Rain begins to pelt my face,
Wind whips at a blistering pace,
Sea foam sloshes across the deck
As shipmates labor in frenzied haste.

With gales that threaten to tip the ship,
The unmoved captain barks and bellows,
"Heavy! Heavy! Heave! Ho!
Heavy! Heavy! Heave! Ho!"

Waves thrash, gusts brawl,
The captain's first mate slips and slides.
As waters churn beneath the stern,
"Man overboard!" I hear the cry.

In vain attempt to save his friend,
The captain grabs a rope to throw,
Then watches as he's sucked below
And swallowed by the undertow.

Decades they had sailed together,
Vent'ring on these dang'rous seas.
The captain, reeling, shaken, stirred,
Pauses, dropping to his knees.

Moved, but moved not from his task,
Still dreaming of some distant dawn,
As tears streak down his weathered cheek,
He counts the cost, but carries on.

The captain cracks but never crumbles.
Staunchly, from the helm, he bellows,
"Heavy! Heavy! Heave! Ho!
Heavy! Heavy! Heave! Ho!"

"Men," with deep resolve, he shouts,
"We sail for paradise this day!
We stay the course! We hold the line!
Come what may! Come what may!"

Amidst the screaming winds and waves,
I'm floored by such a demonstration.
Undaunted, recomposed, this man
Exclaims with pass'nate intonation:

"This vessel carries the hope of man!
Though hell itself shall bar the way,
We'll lock horns with this devilish day!
Come what may! Come what may!"

The raging storm seems discontent
To settle for one high-prized mate.
Lightning streaks while clouds enshroud
In efforts to intimidate.

The mizzenmast is struck—it cracks
And crashes on the captain's head.
In shock, I watch my captain fall—
Surreal, the overwhelming dread.

The captain lays there, motionless,
Alive or dead I do not know.
The wheel, unmanned, begins to turn
As winds, unopposed, howl and blow.

My shipmates pause, then start to panic;
Confused, unsure, afraid, we falter.
But I know the captain had a purpose
And our path should not be altered.

Picking up the captain's courage,
I place my hands upon the wheel
And steer us back against the wind.
We will not bow. I shall not kneel.

Recalling now the captain's vision,
With undiscovered strength I bellow,
"Heavy! Heavy! Heave! Ho!
Heavy! Heavy! Heave! Ho!"

"Men," I hear myself exclaim,
"We sail for paradise this day!
We stay the course! We hold the line!
Come what may! Come what may!"

The storm, angered by defiance,
Lashes out with seething violence,
But I, inspired by my captain,
Proclaim (and not with silence!):

"This vessel carries the hope of man!
Though hell itself shall bar the way,
We'll lock horns with this devilish day!
Come what may! Come what may!"

Passion rising, purpose clear,
With visions of some distant feast,
I'll drive this ship, this sword, this spear,
Deep into the belly of the beast.

social media buttons share on facebook share on linked in share on twitter

Book by Christopher Hostettler

If you like this poem, you may enjoy reading more work by this artist:
buy