image borrowed from bing
“Words, of course, are the most powerful drug
used by mankind.”--Rudyard Kipling
from THE SEVEN SEAS.
Our blue planet, in its infancy, was completely
covered by water, one vast pole to pole
body of water, one seemingly endless Salton Sea;
rife with terrible storms as armies of waves
clashed within the magnetic axis lines, pulled
about spastically by the new moon.
Within all this turbulent saline, life began;
first a few random cells splitting, then combining,
until countless aquatic colonies were created
clinging to reefs, deep trenches, and the
slippery sides of sea mounts.
Some of these primitive creatures developed
curiosity, and they visited the surface incessantly,
until the Forces-That-Be co-created some of them
sporting gills and nostrils, and lo, sea mammals
began to appear, preferring gulping open air to
breathing oxygen underwater.
Rising hourly out of the water with their huge bodies,
they kept searching the flat horizons for specks
of substance, because they felt daily the shaking
of the earth’s core, knowing that the magma heart
kept thrusting its cooling peaks & pinnacles higher
each eon, until one magnificent day
Land appeared, first as atolls, then islands,
then huge continents.
The bravest of the open air-breathers began
flopping themselves up onto the land, remaining
longer each time before returning to the waves;
until Nature, or the gods, kept intervening, turning
fins into legs, then arms, soon adding prehensile
grips, before the clumsy little hands were created
complete with opposable thumbs.
These creatures were eager to explore the lands
provided for them by the throbbing planet; some
of them beginning to stand erect, first on four feet,
then all the way back & up on two, standing tall;
allowing their natural instincts to become
dreams, intellect, & dialectics--but always,
always amongst the diverse populations
there were men who longed to return to the sea
as sailors, fishermen, & explorers.
Early on a saying was used to connote splendid
nautical skills, mariners would say that they
“sailed the seven seas.”
One of the earliest records of this saying was Sumerian
in 2300 BC, and they listed them as
the Persian Gulf
the Gulf of Khambhat
Bay of Bengal
Strait of Malacca
the Gulf of Thailand
the South China Sea.
Later in Medieval Europe, they changed the list;
the Black Sea
the Caspian Sea
the Arabian Sea
the Indian Ocean
the Red Sea
the Mediterranean Sea
the Adriatic Sea--
and depending on the region, the list could include
the Aegean Sea
the North Sea
the Dead Sea--
aka the Sea of Sodom
the Sea of Galilee.
In Colonial times, sailing in Clipper ships
from England to China, “sailing to, and returning
from, the other side of the world”, the list was
the Banda Sea
the Celebes Sea,
the Flores Sea,
the Java Sea,
the South China Sea,
the Sula Sea
the Timor Sea.
In modern times as we place our cameras
in outer space, when we speak of the Seven Seas,
we are referring to all the oceans of the world;
the North Pacific Ocean
the South Pacific Ocean
the North Atlantic Ocean
the South Atlantic Ocean
the Indian Ocean
the Southern Ocean
the Arctic Ocean.
Today we call over a hundred bodies of water “seas”,
so as you dream of piracy, glory, & exploration,
just pick seven of them, any seven,
and sail the hell out of them.
Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics
Would you like to hear the author read this watery poem to you?