Death Alone Lay in the Waking

Lost on the high seas of life,
A dream sailed into my ken, slowly:
I bicycling up some precipitous hill,
Till the bone-dry punge from the salt-fish wharf

Rang high above the arching ridge. I glancing
Down the deserted harbour’s shrill-silent street,
Tar heaving in a great whorl of sunlight,
Clanged my bell, geared, and started pedalling

Downhill. Strange yearning pined as I raced onward
In search of fortune’s gift, igniting
Self-confession that flamed, excoriating
Me, as a figure swept on ahead,
Swirling through the noonday zombie heat

Censorious: wouldn’t turn, would turn round,
I lost on the high seas of life,
I buffeted by storm and strife
Saw the man of ideals I had once been,
As the bay opened its great stretch of hand
And signalled to death crouching in its sound.