Shadows Behind Me Now

The sea is alive with a flame of birds
flickering madly in the gale.
But they are shadows behind me now,
as my bowsprit rocks the sun’s flush down.

My pounded ears, in the wind’s whistling words,
twitch and burn, dancing frail.
But they are shadows behind me now,
ravished beauty’s disarrayed gown.

Show me no more your god-blessed wonders,
nor sound your angel bells or holy rolling thunders!
No more these wretched perfumes–vain plunders!
For they are shadows behind me now,
swamped in waves of glistening blood, to drown.

[Published 1970s, in Caryatid Vol II No. 1]