Guest Poet Curtis Kerns

Lost Horizons

		For Charles Baudelaire

With this singular concept we whisper sleep.
It is so simple to travel forward
Like the train on its track when there
Is nowhere else to travel.

Where can we go—
Shall we turn east to the rising sun
Or west to the New Land?
Do we ride the waves or wind?

The only voyage is forward
And free—our horizons are ours to choose.
Turn the wide sails into the wind
And set course into the unknown.

Look yon!  Land can be seen
To the southeast  the isle of Circe
Draws all into her salty embrace
And woos us with her wanton pleasures promised.

Lift anchor and sail and discover—
The wind whispers, “Adventure,” today,
We see land and yearn for whiskey and women
On the solemn day (perhaps the Ides)
When the sandbars are uncovered.

Break bread and toast to nothing;
Clasp palms and pray of nothing—
Who would answer from the cancerous seas
Other than crusty old Poseidon?

Our crew sings softly with sand in their mouths
In remembrance of the lands left behind.
Their wrinkled man-bodies strain
In remembrance of maiden flesh from years ago.

Turn softly into the Sea and whisper of Michelangelo
Long after we have set sail with
The oceans still vast underneath us
We still have horizons to find.

With eyes livid in death we are watched
As we flee the setting sun for more hospitable lands—
Forget the placid seas and ride the raging waves
And whisper with the shrieking wind, “be at peace.”

Open your mouth and speak sleep;
Close your eyes and think sleep.
Drop anchor and take down the sails
For finally, the voyage is ended
We’ve found port, we’re home.

March, 2000

Curtis Kerns's Questions:

This is a poem i wrote the other day in response to Charles Baudelaire's "the Voyage"  I would like to expand it into a longer poem.  I'm not really sure if the imagery works or if it flows all to well at this moment.

1.  Does the imagery work?

2.  What lines need to stay as is, which should be deleted and which should be expanded upon?

3.  Does the title work?

4.  Does this remind you of any other poems that you have read in the past?

5.  Do you like this poem?

6.  Could you give me any other critique to help me out with this?

Thank you, your help is greatly appreciated.

The Albany Poetry Workshop