Old Hand’s Babyonian Voyage part 5 – The 9th Wave

“Hang on to yer hat, lad.  Looks like we’re in for a dusting.” McWhirr pointed at the darkening horizon and commanded: “Ready to man the pumps.”

“Aye, Captain.”

I scrambled aft and pulled the aged, bronze pump from the lazarette before looking up to see the immense, glassy wall looming over the masthead like the adamant finale of doomsday.

Old Hand rose up the vertical wall to its breeze-feathered crest and launched skyward with a spray of rainbow light. It was as if she sought escape from her natural element, to take her place amid the constellations as guide to unborn mariners of this tropic-this weary globe where man has long toiled on the treacherous seas.

We landed in the trough with a bone-jarring crash as the wave broke with a deafening roar astern.

Old Hand yawed like a stunned boxer shaking off a vicious right hook and steadied up, ready to meet the next one.  We mounted the second wave of the set and were again hurled down it’s backside, until I thought we might sound the very depths of the Mariana trench.

Each time McWhirr counted each wave until, after the 8th had thrown us rudely on our beam-ends, he said:  “This is it, lad-the 9th wave. Say yer prayers, this may be the end of our pleasant, little cruise.”

The sight that met my eyes as I braced against the wheelhouse was enough to make Blackbeard blanch and Ahab drop to his knees and beg for mercy.

“No, it can’t be that big,” I said, upon seeing the wave’s awesome height. It’s aspect was all the more terrible for its calm refulgence-as gleaming and resolute as an executioner’s ax. The crystalline beauty of it seemed to mock all our puny efforts to survive.

Again, we faced the interminable ascent. As it jacked up over the reef, it turned a back-lit, emerald-green hue.

Good reader, we’ve all heard how time stands still, and the imagination falls prey to odd fancies in times of extreme terror. So it was with me. I thought I saw strange shapes in that massive beast of a sea-spectral figures who swam before my eyes and vanished again like mackerel  flashing upon the wave’s face. One such apparition was dressed in a flowing white shirt and tight pants. He had the angelic look of one inspired by the muses and held, in his delicate hand, a goose-quill pen. His melodic words seemed to echo above the dismal keening of gulls that circled overhead:

…My spirit’s bark is driven,

Far from the shore, far from the trembling throng

Whose sails were never to the tempest given;

The massy earth and sphered skies are riven!

I am born darkly, fearfully afar…

 

Poetry from Adonais by Percy Bysshe Shelly

Categories: Saturnius McWhirr stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Post navigation

3 thoughts on “Old Hand’s Babyonian Voyage part 5 – The 9th Wave

  1. Beautiful descriptive words – enjoyed reading this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu).

Writings By Ender

The Writer's Adventure

Logical Quotes

Logical and Inspirational Quotes

Sideways Angel: Heather Keyser's Perspective

Drawing my truth and writing what burns.

Dr. Stein's Photographic Establishment

Photographic Life In The Little Studio

Linda Beach

Artist and Teacher

jill millward artwork

blogging and oil painting about my daily adventures in art & life...come follow along!

J.J. Adamson

Character-driven epic fantasy

Blueangelwolf

WORDS OF POETRY FROM UNDER A HAT

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

Old Road Apples

A Magnificent Fountain of Gurgling Wit, Wisdom, and Intriguing Insights. Some Other Stuff, Too.

Metaphysical Reflections

Exploring philosophical, psychological and spiritual concepts & ideas with a view to illuminating various aspects of the psyche.

rangdrol's Blog

open space - luminous clear - empty mind

alchemyparusha

parusha777@yahoo.com

Early Modern at the Beinecke

Early modern British and European collections of Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

rabirius

photography and other things

%d bloggers like this: