a series of seven poems
First Bell; Middle Watch
A sailor's day spans seven bells
the ringing marks us standing post.
For every watch, we tough the swells
before we may give up the ghost.
This final day of weary voyage
sees our holds filled up to hatch.
Sailors eager to end the passage
stand each final lonely watch.
Middle watch starts on midnight
counting early hours of day.
Our home-course charted in the starlight,
heaven's jewels to guide our way.
First bell finds us four hours closer,
minds wandering toward final shore.
Midnight sailors take their slumber
and dream of home; six watches more.