Noah's yawl


Long ago in Florence, Alighieri
smashed the limestone font
at the Baptistery – Don’t
Panic! – to save a little boy

from drowning.  His prophetic sign,
a riposte for his own exile 
sluiced out with bile
& blood of lawlessness (Italian

style).  The sea rides high, the rain
seems endless.  Human
callousness a given,
leaden sinker-weights anchored in pain

call for a coracle, a basket-woven
safety net (to keep
the child alive, upon
the deep).  Cross-stitch the waves then,

Raven – paint Noah’s yawl afloat
until we memorize the name
that hawsers through this game
of crosshairs (golden, black & white).

Only a shadow over the sea;
an eyelash, lancing
a tiny tear.  So bring
your harp now, Queequeg – free

that pearl-feathered quasi-gull
whose omnipresence bobs
the wavy globe.  Corncobs
& acorns in Polenta (Dante school).


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