Today's poem is by John Struloeff

Bar Pilots

All summer their prows push the weight of waves,
descending broad blades into the sea's hills,
these men riding prow backs in the sun, wind misting kelp mire
as their boats buoy the rough route into the shark gray mouth

of the open sea. A thousand voyages a year
guiding ships through the thunderous breach
among fishermen gathered in season for streaming schools of silver,
into autumn when clouds shadow the ocean's edge

and winter comes like an unending storm, decks glass skins of ice,
men harboring in nylon fur coats and seal black gloves
to carry the world into the legend of this valley of death,
the mouth of an abyss that churns the spirits of men lost.

Copyright © 2007 John Struloeff All rights reserved
from the Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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