I was happy dawdling along,
trimming my one sail, impressed
I’d managed to make a raft at all.
A dot on the ocean, I kept myself afloat
with old nursery rhymes and worn-out songs
until your luxury liner breached my horizon
and you blasted me out of the water
with your ear-drum-piercing horn.

As you passed me by, with your
first-class cabins, your swimming pools,
your dancebands, your captain’s table,
I saw Eliot and Pound playing cards on deck,
Matisse waving to me over his shoulder,
handkerchief like a white dove flapping.

I don’t have a megaphone
or a ship-to-shore radio
but still, croaking from salt-puckered lips,
I want to send my message to the world.
Throw me a mineral water, or a life-belt,
from your Fellini-esque dream,
as you glide, unattainable, impossibly grand,
across the waters of the world, while I,
stuttering in your wake, try to
hide my neoplasms from your sun.