Stella Maris

by Alwyn Marriage

Weeks stretch, then sink
into long months at sea,
fear alternating with ennui, 
as salt spray dampens 
the sailor’s face and hair
with wistful memories
of where he’d rather be.

Steering by Polaris against 
the rush and push of waves,
ignored by the lights 
of heaven’s dark dome,
he is deafened, buffeted, blinded 
by the ferocity of storms,
and battered by longing for home.

Far from the comfort
of wife or mother,
in the womb of the ship, 
on the breast of the waves,
he raises his face 
in desperation,
and prays to Mary,
Star of the Sea.

Alwyn Marriage’s twelve books include poetry, fiction and non-fiction — most recently The Elder Race (novel) and Pandora’s pandemic (poetry). Her new collection, Possibly a Pomegranate, will be published in Spring 2022She has given readings all over Britain and Europe and in Australia and New Zealand. Formerly a university philosophy lecturer and CEO of two international literacy and literature NGOs, she’s currently Managing Editor of Oversteps Books.

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