Ending the Day at Sea

“Poetry might be defined as the clear expression of mixed feelings.” —W.H. Auden

During my younger life I was a commercial fishing captain. This is a little poem about those fishing days as I let my thoughts go back to capture my feelings as night arrived on the sea. I spent many, many nights on the sea and I often experienced these feelings.

Ending the Day at Sea

The seagulls are circling and swinging lower in the sky.
I’m standing here listening to their shrill, reassuring cry.
They’re watching and waiting patiently for us to haul back the net.
For they know there’s always a free meal waiting for them to get.

As I stand here I can feel the deck vibrating beneath my feet.
Which reminds me of the engine vibrating to its own beat.
My gaze wanders to the horizon way off in the west
And a feeling of loneliness comes over me and floods my breast.

I clench my jaw as I watch the golden sun settle toward the sea,
For I must be strong and not shed tears for my crew to see.
As the glorious sun keeps sinking to end the day, I consider my plight.
Of all the time spent on the sea, the worst is when the day turns into night.

I continue to hold my gaze in the west as I watch the sun and sea meet.
I almost expect to see the sun extinguished in a boiling burst of steam and heat.
But my expectations are ignored as the sun slips so gently into the west.
I have to accept that the night is coming and the day is preparing to rest.

It’s at these times that I silently wish I could command time to stand still,
But I understand that the sun and the sea are following a Higher Will.
And then a glorious scene unfolds in a dazzling display of beautifully colored light
As the sea covers the sun and bids it welcome into her bosom for the night.

The sky over the horizon has turned into a kaleidoscope of red, yellow and gold,
creating one of the most beautiful sights that physical eyes will ever behold.
Those who don’t go to sea will hardly ever enjoy anything so grand,
For there’s a world of difference between sunsets at sea and on the land.

A light breeze has appeared, pushing the sea into tiny ripples ever so slight,
The fading sun has spread its rays upon them causing them to sparkle in delight.
Darkness is gently enveloping the sea bringing with it a few small doubts
And very soon all that will be seen are the lights of the other boats.

And then my loneliness seems to change into feelings I can’t quite identify.
Feelings that seem to reach far beyond where the sea meets the sky.
For a few fleeting moments my mind leaves the sea and its sunlit ripples of foam.
I no longer seem to feel sadness but simply a longing for home.

A home that’s not made of mortar, bricks, glass or wood and such.
It’s a home, I soon realize, my physical body will never touch.
I’m reminded that this world is not my home, I’m just passing through, And these feelings cause my mind to wonder if it might be true.

Then my awareness is drawn back to the sea as I cast my glance about,
I decide to leave that for the philosophers, romantics and such to figure out.
I make my way slowly to the wheelhouse realizing the fishing must go on.
I have no choice now except to wait through the night for the dawn.


Thank you for visiting this site. I am truly grateful.

“Love is your safety. Fear does not exist. Identify with love, and you are safe. Identify with love, and you are home. Identify with love, and find your Self.” –ACIM

“Veganism is believing that an animal’s life is worth more than a sandwich. That’s it! That’s how simple it is.” –The Spiritual Vegan


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