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By John Kryder

Here is no safe harbor, no heart guard

against the sea’s fury, the gale sprays of worry,

the maelstrom of acid pain. When all senses say

secure, your ship at anchor, sail furled

and hatches fast, then might, then will

calm water curling into waves crash upon your hull,

hills of weight bear upon you down till sightless,

to the bottom, broken limbs and torn mind are laid

ungently on the salt plain or moor, there to stay,

there, like another Scorpion, lost in the abyss – or what if,

or somehow, you suffer the sea change

into something strange: your breath, like your body,

awash with a sharp power unknown, anemone bright

and strong as the whale’s bones, like the sea urchin

spiny hard, and sure as ocean’s floor, though never

fully poised for the next storm, the fierce new wave.

JOHN KRYDER will join poets Kastle Brill and Annette Daniels Taylor as the featured readers at the next Just Buffalo Literary Café at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Center for Inquiry, 1310 Sweet Home Road in Amherst. He teaches English at Williamsville East High School, where he co-founded and co-directs the Williamsville Poetry, Music, Dance and Art Celebration. This poem first appeared in Kryders chapbook at Web Del Sol.