Bounding Main

Dana Winters

Aloft the stony balcony

in the grayest haze most bleak

pallid grip upon the rugged edge

pendulating over the hissing, silver maw

Smokey waters sliding their surf,

salivating at the thought of flesh

plunging deeper and deeper,

abyssal black sucking off frozen skin—

for sailor, for poet, tragic lovers lost

the waves are thirsty for more

Smooth precipice gives way down to jagged teeth

awaiting the crunch of bones

as they tumble to or from torment

white terror shining in their prey’s eyes

Sea foam sighs and gurgles

mimicking many final breaths

There he stays watching the bounding main

from the stony balcony above

Iron eyes locked on the yawning peril beneath

the precipice wondering if the sirens shall sing

of me and he

The wind carries the sea as a ghostly mist

touching his face and feathering his locks like

a raven taking flight

The pinprick droplets only spike the skin in vain

For I know in those ferrous irises,

that frigid steel encompassing oily pools,

The cold had finally plummeted to its blackest


The grip on the edge, this lonely, lofty wall,

becomes needles and knives

Unforgiving of mortals’ faults

Swaying gusts cradling the Northern cold

Thirsty, lapping, silver tongues below

begging to swallow

Woe that natural man were more strong and


It is then in confidence, his mouth curves

The stillest of confidence in so wry a smile

It is over and done with;

the work is finished

He has no want to call upon angels

as shivering pallid hands betray the moment of

final strength

Down into the screaming sea

And there he stands aloft the stony balcony

watching the bounding main

In his iron eyes, he is more than relieved,

to finally witness the sea

swallow me.