Safe Journey


Image credit: fishing boats in fog by tolbert





fingers of fog whisper between

the hollow masts


like a note never played

on an instrument never touched


gray shades of white crawl delicately,

dissipating slowly at the touch of morning’s sun


drying nets, emptied of their captured haul

collapse onto themselves

like a hangman’s noose

still swaying uselessly in the dying breeze

smoothing the water’s ripples—

wrinkles of the sea


as beaten vessels weep together,

into the waiting water

wanting for one more trip to sea

never hoping for a safe return…

© 2012, tolbert. All rights reserved.

tolbert (24 Posts)

Born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina, I have Southern roots that were extracted when I lived close enough to Berkeley in the late sixties and early seventies to taste the influences of the pursuit of freedom. As a student at San Jose State University I watched William Kuntsler expound on the values of free speech and he offered more education in an hour, on the lawn by the baseball diamond than most professors gave in a full semester. Married for thirty years, I have two grown daughters and three grandkids,..and two Boston Terriers.


  1. Tolbert, there are times when many of us wonder whether there will be one more “safe journey” on the seas. And sometimes we do weep together. Beautifully poignant poem.

  2. The sadness here is palpable.” gray shades of white crawl delicately,

    dissipating slowly at the touch of morning’s sun” is my favorite line. Love it.

  3. That moves so well, from beginning to end. Beautifully written and very evocative. A lovely piece, indeed.

  4. Anya

    You evoke such an image with relatively few descriptions. It creates an atmosphere at once melancholy and tranquilly beautiful. :)

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