"Shelter we seek against sea-storms..."
“Shelter we seek against sea-storms…”

Shelter we seek against sea-storms, more than
Food, weapons, or fire, sails wind-shredded,
Ship wave-battered, she groans, mast pitching,
Accursed upon blowing foam, helmsman, for
Only prayers and sea-might will save us, as
Scudding clouds reveal, light descending into
Darkness, brine-lost this raging night, gripped
Fast by tempest claws, we are but flesh and
Bone breathing air, this wood protecting us,
Perishing in eternal depths.

How we cursed wind-calmed fiords, oar-
Relying from firth to firth, creeping in
Light air, or fog-lost, all these endured, all
Given for cloud-breaking sun, storm petrel
Sighting, another evening of hearth fires,
Wood crackling, meat searing, smoke as
Wind shifts during night. Alas! Will these
Be memories death-retained or highland
Blessings, god-gifted future days? This
Night, sea-fates denied to this seafarer.

Man of many imperfections, too quick at
Blade wielding, regrets of stout champion,
Deeds not done, words not spoken, my
Sea-abandoned love, clear eyes, skin fair,
This night, steer-board clutching, pushing
Into black-howling maw, cloud-facing, I
Scream aloud, “I love you!” Heart-words
Denied, sword beaten to plow, warrior to
Husband reshaped by gentle touches,
Voice breeze sweet, my heart undone.

My love, fear not dark-line of horizon’s sea-
Edge, tumbling clouds, Norseman mettle
Tested, waves and boat, hammer and anvil,
Strength never giving up, home-steered
Course, for one month with you, I give myself
To Christian gods, in marriage, farmstead
Building, farmer, shepherd. Tonight, facing
Death, I am never more alive, standing tall
On wave-cleaving longboat, searching surf-
Roaring cliffs, beacon-fires bright-burning.

"Fear not dark-line of horizon’s sea-edge, tumbling clouds...
“Fear not dark-line of horizon’s sea-edge, tumbling clouds…

My heart full as wind-stretched sails, I am
Sea-returning, destiny seen on ship’s prow,
What armored thing pushes me forth? Silver
Sea-rope, soul-connections made tween me
And thee, Erlendr and fair Ketiley, hair wind
Flowing, grace and modest temper, raging
Seas win not tonight, waves surrendering
To your beckoning love, high-soaring as
Greenland plateaus, I see beyond myself,
Our life-journey we wave-ride together.

Poem of sea-storms and love realized, Norseman Erlender for
Ketiley, written as wind and rain of TS “Hermine” swept up 
Virginia Eastern Shore with previous storm photos. 

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