Hades Awaits: SJ Murphy

Mirror glass image: mile upon mile to abstracted horizon.
Every time I passed, drawn to sit down and watch
The calm, mirror glass image with sun in my eyes.
As the sun rose, it’s image on the mirror, the sea,
Like paint thrown from a tub over a canvas,
Strewn across the floor.
It rose, and carried on rising, as passion rises to a crescendo:
The sun high in the sky.
Heat of the desert no sand in sight –
Albatross has been there for days.

Falling from the sky, paint strewn across canvas once more:
Just a splash of green as the last remnants disappeared.
Giving way to a darkness so still: only disturbed, by the bow
Pushing through, destination, not important.
As the moon shone bringing light
Not expected: eyes adjusted to a moon
Full of hope; night drew on and quiet descended. Familiar
Feeling, when the pitching and rolling began: weightlessness then
Heavy as stone, strange feeling at first, but now – soothing and drowsy –
Albatross making use of our thermals: ease of passage.

Woken from slumber, soothing and drowsy now
A burden endured: no longer calm or seducing.
Mirror glass image – nowhere to be seen:
Today’s image, white horses breaking near and afar.
Riding huge peaks: looking up, where yesterday’s sun shone.
Riding huge troughs: looking down, where Hades awaits.
Hour upon hour, no let up in sight –
Strong as oxen falling like children’s rag dolls
Searching respite among pictures of home –
Albatross still using the heat from the funnel.

For what seemed like days we rode the ride
Going about our chores, not much expected;
No mopping the decks, no specials on the menu,
Like the radio message when an inch of snow falls:
Only travel if you must – the tannoy spoke:
Decks can be scrubbed tomorrow, and steaks can wait ’til weekend,
No specials on the menu today.
Until on the horizon, the sun shone once more; the peaks grew smaller
And the troughs grew longer, but the
Albatross still waited for food.

It took a few days for the pitch to recede and the roll
Seemed never to end, but the mirror reappeared
Though not as flat as before, and the sun was strewn
Across canvas again. Drawn again to sit and watch
The sun as it climbed in the sky – and sit I did, no clay
Pipe to enjoy but a blend, golden from Virginia and rolled.
Not a soul was about when I walked side to side,
Around bollard and hatch, avoiding by habit not sight:
As I looked, and looked again, I couldn’t see it because the
Albatross was gone, he was gone, he no longer needed our help.


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