Ocean air mixing with seawater, sunlit
Mist arose, vaporous radiance coalescing,
Accumulating, clouds clinging to cresting
Waves. Here, I have existed for unknown
Decades, cupped in deific hands, warmth
Sleeping, awakening, exploring, never too
Close to land. Thus, was my life, ocean
Nereid, fate of numerous sisters unknown,
Daughters of Nereus, lonely voice, saved
Or lost, not knowing not which I am.
Timbers of rotted ships, time continued,
My purpose unfulfilled. Memories of sea-
Lights for lost fishers, fog or night-stranded,
Heading, direction lost, until, I, Thera,
Appearing off the bow, guided them to
Safety. How they hastened sail, weary
Hearts made whole, my direction steering
Until within ship’s length, I disappeared,
Hovering above them in misty cloud or
At night, twinkling star-appearing.
O! How I remember when sister Nereids
Light-gathered along ocean shores, rock
And shoal illuminating, or as few dared,
Lights inlet-lingering, fishermen believing
They were lantern-waving families. “Yes,
Your lights we saw, rounding mist-shrouded
Headlands,” they greeted waiting wives,
Unrealizing wave-riding Nereids, coastal
Currents gliding, storm avoiding, aiding
Fisherfolk and sailors in dire need.
Perfection-purpose striving, Nereid sisters
Seem no more. Alas! World has changed,
Hundred decades passed. Ocean lights on
Every shore, lighted buoys, flashing markers
Illuminate smallest coves and cays, though
In strange, perhaps familiar ways, I feel akin
To blinking lights on pilings, ringing buoy
Bells. For now, I return sunlit ocean shores,
Sleeping weeks or months, awaiting spring’s,
Warming breezes, seabirds, all things I love.
Awaiting first spring sunrise, Thera has returned to her place of rest,
pine-tree flanked marsh inlet on Virginia Atlantic Ocean shore. There,
single, lighted marker illuminates quiet predawn waters.
Thanks for reading.