Disembarking the Drunken Boat
Rimbaud, darling of poets,
called on us to be visionaries!
Disembarking his “Drunken Boat,” he sailed
trade winds, steered toward guns, gruesome
voyages destined for massacre,
waived the unreal for lucre’s appeal.
Ignore the blood sea’s skull and bone,
he sets our sails afloat, coddles our ego-whore.
Who cares he fed war lords and braved the heat
to deal in death, our darling boy, poets’ pet.
Watch the dandelions in summer flourish, their seeds in the air,
watch how they unfold tiny umbrellas in the volatile wind,
the ribcages stretch open to catch currents. The seed pods
on their haphazard odyssey: up and off,
“sperm on the wing.”
Most won’t make it.
Some end up in thoughts of Rimbaud’s bathtub boat
on a pond in Tuileries Gardens. Some labor in
growing pains on death-row’s dry concrete.
In suburbia most land on fertile ground.
Even the run-amucks multiply in manicured cracks.
© W.M. Rivera
W.M. (William McLeod) Rivera is a retired agricultural educator. His academic background includes a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, M.A. from The American University in Washington, D.C, and Ph.D. from Syracuse. He taught agricultural extension and development at the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) from 1981 to 2009. After retiring from UMCP, he has dedicated his energies to writing poetry. Four collections of his poetry have been published: Buried in the Mind’s Backyard (Brickhouse Books, 2011), The Living Clock (Finishing Line Press, 2013), Noise (Broadkill River Press, 2015), and Café Select (Poets’ Choice, 2016). He was a nominee for the Pushcart Prize in 2012.