I hear the ocean calling, not just for fishing,
How I make a living, it beckons to my soul,
My light upon welling waves, stretched from
Music of home buoys to limits my mind dares
Explore in love and adoration of God’s wide
Creation, meager humanness in obeisance to
Deep holiness, universal infinite divine.
Charts of home waters I’ve memorized and
Fathomed, their features and increasing
Depths, until they plummet in deep-sea
Canyons. There we fish, dragging nets along
Promising hills and valleys, slow and steady,
Trawl doors cut water, net opens, weight
Increasing with each set of ocean bounty.
This is how I sustain my life, an above-the-
Wave predator, winch and cables not defining
The inner me or my appreciation of life below
Or upon the hoary main, reveling in starry
Nights, an affirmation of rose-streaked dawn,
Faith prayer-renewed, giving praise, to live
And to fish another windswept day.
Yes, I feel the ocean calling, as do my ship-
Mates, toiling hard hours, resting in fitful
Sleep, ever droning diesel engines, nighttime
Glaring halogens, trawl decks eye-burning
Bright, body and clothes never really clean,
Watchstanding in the wheelhouse, for now,
Radio and navigation radars safely clear.
Such are alluring oceans, glistening brow
Of windswept foam, suffering in summer
Heat, sun beating down upon metal decks,
Numbing winter cold and freezing spray,
Time-gripped slowness, arduous labours,
Heaving fish-filled nets, spilling into holds,
Burning diesel to distant waypoint home.