about the author

Greg Billingham is a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire. He is currently living, working, and writing in the charming, historic seaside town of Portsmouth, NH, where he eats oysters and studies herbal medicine. Recent publishing credits include The Meadow, Emrys Journal, Existere: Journal of Arts and Literature (Canada), Hawai’i Pacific Review, and Sierra Nevada Review.

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A Sailor Speaks Of Shipwrecks

Greg Billingham

For what wonders it has drank, the sea shall keep me company.

The rich sea that spares me its charters of sunken ships
and disputed treasures, only to find how it wastes what follows of moonlight
on a stillness that starves drowning sailors.

I’ve known the widows of saltwater barons, I’ve seen their jewel-green
dresses tugged by the jealous fingers of land,
I’ve seen the night air leaning on their balconies in prayer.

For it is the moon that ripens our myths, the tides that make two ships
of our eyes, and the kelp-wrapped waves that beach them,
beside shells and broken sails.

Ah, but who would pay a mind to that maritime language of loss, so blue
and akin to crumbling, were they not drunk with disaster amid
the ceaseless moans of those horrible lighthouses, laughing...?

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