“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”

….. Henry David Thoreau


 He’s dreaming of the shore that he knows he’ll see no more

And lamenting now his fate so cruelly tossed.

He never thought that life could go so fast,

The shadows of the past are merely all the ghosts of what he’s lost.

He used to run so free when he sailed upon the sea

Never knowing of the ports to which he’d call.

Adventure borne on every southern gale

Which filled his vagrant sail to take him every place and see it all.


And love he surely knew, whether false or whether true,

From as many girls as he’d seen distant lands.

But now his eyes look back toward the truth,

So hidden in his youth, and tears flow as he quietly understands.

He chose to sail alone, now he’s stranded on his own

With no other soul with whom he might grow old.

He should have settled down and made a home,

But chose instead to roam in search of what adventure’s path might hold.


His journeys ended here where the waters run so clear,

And tomorrow’s been decided by the past.

He didn’t feel the turning of the tide,

Nor knew the sea might hide the dangers where his future’s now been cast.

He’s grounded high and dry, as the ebbing tide flows by,

In a distant land he’d tried so hard to find.

He wished now that he chose the other tack

That would have sailed him back to places he now yearns for in his mind.


His keel’s been broke in two.  He’s no strength to build anew

And he hasn’t got the spirit, nor the heart.

He’s only got the memory of what’s gone.

He wants to carry on, but doesn’t see at his age how to start.

If only he’d have known of the pains from being alone

When the wind drove him upon this leeward shore,

He never would have set that wayward track

That never took him back to where he thought of settling down before.


And dreaming of that isle brings a melancholy smile

As he thinks of all the happiness he lost.

That lass he’d left there waving from the sand

With flowers in her hand.  This empty soul his wanderlust has cost.

He turns to let the spray wash his bitter tears away

As he curses loud the calling of the sea.

His fists are clenched in anger at the thought

Of life so come to naught.  Of prison made from striving to be free.


He stares upon the waves and imagines there the graves

Of his fellow sailors similarly cast.

He puts another bottle to his lips

And while he quietly sips, the present seems to blur into the past.

And once the bottle’s drained he has youth and heart regained

And forgotten all the sadness of before.

He’s running free again before the breeze

And challenging the seas to carry him away from memory’s shore.


While stumbling to stand with the bottle in his hand

He is hoisting every sail his dreams can find.

He sees the dolphins phosphorescent trail

Beside the leeward rail.  The alcohol, this time is being kind.

And sailing to the shore that  he knows he’ll see no more

He is laughing at his fate so strangely tossed.

Reality could never sail this fast

Through shadows of the past, and wasted opportunities now lost.


His mind is running free as it sails the open sea

Never knowing of the ports to which he’ll call.

A memory on every southern gale

Which filled his younger sail, to take him every place and see it all.

………….A memory on every southern gale…………

But now those winds must fail………….

There’s no more dreams to sail ………

…………..He’s dreamed them all.