Working Waterfront: Peter Dailey, Port of San Francisco
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Bay Crossings Poetry
Springtime in Paris Sweepstakes
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The Steam Will Rise Again
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Working Waterfront: Laurie Miskuski
Boating Calendar
Taste on the Bay on its Way
Bay Area Sailors Win National Acclaim
Cover Story: Waterfront Living
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City Welcomes New Sculpture "Cupidís Span"
New Hookup Links 511 Service With Hearing-, Speech-Impaired Travelers
WTA Pages: All Aboard for Martinez
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Flight of Fantasy

Bay CrossingsPoetry

For a Moment, Terrorism

By Bill Coolidge

a black and white blotched, high-sided old fishing boat

begins to circle my sailboat,

two guys, blue shirts, standing

hatchet faced, rifles in hand, peer at me

waves bounce me around.

Underneath my jib I spot

a long gray hulk tied to port.

 

"oh, oh"

I vaguely remember the new law

100 or 500 yards from military vessels?

I'm about 50 yards and closing.

I turn the tiller, sails flop over

against wind and current.

pushed backwards, sails listless

I start my outboard and rev it up.

 

These guys are frowning,

they motor towards me,

I wave, thumbs up, signaling

"I'm out of here."

But I'm not,

vague headway, slip sliding toward Sugarloaf Island.

 

Their splotchy boat gives no leeward room.

I'm about to run aground.

pull up the centerboard

 

I barely skim past the red buoy, sweat pouring.

the men in sunglasses,

hands on rifles, turn away.

 

On deck of the gray ship

a man with gun has his binoculars

pinned on me.

 

war undeclared

enemies everywhere, me,

it seems, on a Sunday afternoon sail

under my breath I swear at them

the president, the pentagon.

my acquiesence, my dutiful silence

 

 

Orgasm

 

dawn darkens, clouds close, no sun

splattering slices of flying drops

slide under my cracked open window

 

wind: big brawny

masts rock,

wobbly buoy lights disappear

darkened in the mad rush of seasonal storm

 

thirty minutes later

Shakleford Banks rises up

the Atlantic beyond

as if a painter were filling in the horizon

 

another day,

the egret flies low

lands on oyster bed