Life Craft

The list of things you can’t know
Includes songs of the New Hebrides –

How to whistle south of the Solomons,
And arias of who died in the Coconut War.

You laugh, but it is not your sons
Who are fallen.

I insist on archipelagos,
Obscure republics and music of the spheres;

You teach me to recognize my mother,
Distant in the constellation of Virgo.

Chiaroscuro that passes the time,
Our hopeless conjuring as we drift.



For Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 413

21 thoughts on “Life Craft

    1. No, but I’ve seen pictures and they are beautiful. I’d love to go. For some reason I’ve had a thing reading about obscure South Sea islands and independence movements for many years. A weird rabbit-hole of mine, what can I say?


  1. Okay, so I learned more history researching your allusions than I ever did in high school. I have been a self-study of history almost since the day of my graduation from that vaunted institution. There is much to ponder in your poem… and much to unravel. The wording is quality, of course. Now… Advil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! Apologies for the Advil. I don’t know why this is, but I’m weirdly infatuated with South Sea island Independence Movements. I think (and I kid you not), it was probably due to the constant reference to “New Caledonia” in all those re-runs of McHale’s Navy growing up. Then one day I stumbled across the actual history of New Caledonia and I was off down the rabbit hole.


      1. See, and I always wanted to know where the names Quentin and McHale came from for the title of the show! I know there has to be something there. And why is Gilligan the only character with only one name. Even the person who birthed Gilligan’s Island didn’t know (or wouldn’t say) whether it was the character’s first or last name. However, I’m certain the island was probably Johnston Atoll. Except we had an air base there until fairly recently.

        Your rabbit hole is more worthy than mine.

        Liked by 1 person

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