Saturday, February 9, 2013

POEM #8: Crossing Bantayan Channel

Just a speck on a map
is an island on the Visayan sea;
I cross the channel on a trimaran
guiding a group of Danes and friends.

Swollen waves, white-crested;
shook the small craft splashing spray.
I hold on to the mast and gripped a cam;
assuring my guests that it is alright to shoot pics.

A half-hour seemed eternity
as the boat struggled in mid-stream;
all are wet except our gears under a tarp;
ashen-faced and cold, perhaps, murmuring a prayer.

A half-hour more and it is shore.
The determined skipper ably steered
his boat through huge waves as it rocked.
Oh, what skill; now, spurred on by all eyes on him.

The last of the nautical miles
came fast as the last of giant swells
loosen its grip upon the hapless outriggers
gifting us pristine white sand and a preview of paradise.

A virgin island lay bare;
a prize for anyone with a stout heart
to cross rough seas on a northeast monsoon
with just a prayer, a paper sail and a banana in hand.


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