Sea Shore

December 31, 2020

Those flames, the risible disciples gathered whose,

Rose early on the beach,

Butter the resolution of one man among them,

Spread so thinly it had almost squeaked

Aboard, him with the crowd a-fishing,

Having lost their nonpareil, their gracious Lord

Now is there no forgiving for that treacherous vengeance

Only some hard forgetting

We had thought him he who was to usher in the Kingdom

And haply free his people from the Roman arm

A holy prophet, righteous, and appointed by

The mighty Hand of God

Now at our prow again we reap the sea; to no avail

Let down we are, and downcast, as we let our nets down

In squally waters

Empty of former eager spirit, we catch only now

At wisps of memories

Nothing onboarded, salvaged, from the shattered wreck

‘Let down’ a clear voice beckons, ‘on the other side

Your nets’. The thwarted Peter starts, alert he rises

Eyes him

A stranger, a surveyor, calling from the nearby shore

Whose watchful mettle looks upon them close;

Their fishing of that morning; he the one who spoke

‘Let down your nets’ had said; these doubtful sailor men

Unsure, look to their skipper, Peter gives a tacit word

Deep plunge the fishers’ nets; against that canny grain

Of workaday men’s best considered reason

And larboard throws the nose at once, tips violently

The boat so burdened turtles threatening overload

Seas rush wild in, swarming the decks, then draining

Inflow the half-closed holds

‘It is The Lord!’ a shout goes out as fishes curl

In numbers shining, swarming slide; a crazy catch revealed

One hundred fifty three, but Peter at his instant shout

Astonished, throws his coat, immersed he wades out stoutly forth

A corporal magnet dragnetting his overloaded heart

Sparring hard to discharge vigorous force to have him

Settled beside

This picture from the shore; this man sat open-roasting fish:

Sorted, commanding, definitive; a man of the light.

And petulant Peter; ever yet the urgent instigator

Unsure pulls, powers the waters, wading breast-high deeps

Brings furious inklings

Hope in abandon drives his naked legs up to a closure

For yea or nay, his passion says: ‘It is The Lord!’


A coolly casual smile calls: ‘Come and eat;

Take, eat some breakfast’,

Obstinate more than stubborn seas these swelling words

Debate him

Oppressing; dare he dare encounter, risk a recognition?

With this man-for-all-men before whom all is supplication?

What tack appropriate, what proper place to take,

Whose presence is position, and whose prepossession faith?

Happily more than satisfied he makes himself submission

Beside our great and only Saviour sempiternal

To bide, await, the fallings from the Master Captain’s table

As his right meed

Knowing them certain, pertinent, set to their proper times

Waiting, and not yet meditating his upbraiding reinstatement

Soon to ensue, renew, and so consolidate

His upsidaisical, unrestrainable, piebald figure