One Day Upon My Travel III
(I finally wrote a third)
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One day upon my travel o’er the hill and through the vale,
I diverted my attention to a single boating sail.
A sail is nothing special if an ocean is nearby
But when there is no water it tends to catch the eye.
As always, curiosity had got the best of me,
So I started toward the canvassed mast sailing without a sea.
I could think of no explanation for the appearance of a ship,
Nor could I find reason after finally reaching it.
A mast as tall as twenty men standing foot to head
With a sail that could be cut to cover a hundred beds.
What creature would create such a wasted piece of art?
Building a boat on solid ground could not be titled smart.
“He must have thought himself as Noah,” I thought in my own mind,
“To have taken time for the contruction of such a grand design.”
Yet there was some water, not much larger than the vessel,
And the ship was floating idly like some large aquatic castle.
As any man would do when given such a scene
I searched for how to come aboard, but no entry could I see.
So I yelled, and yelled quite loudy, for a captain or shipmate
Hoping for an exit from my much befuddled state.
I lingered there for quite some time waiting for reply,
And just as I was leaving a man came to oblige.
He certainly did look the part, dressed much as an admiral might,
Golden bars atop his shoulders, the rest of him attired in white.
His features heavy and stern, like the ship on which he stood.
And I suspect his face was far more weathered than the wood.
As he spoke I couldn’t help but notice the greatness of his voice,
Deep, loud, and authoritative would be my words of choice.
“What can I do for you, my land-abiding friend?”
“I was coming just to see how a ship could sail on land.”
My reply evoked a smile from this strange located admiral
And he motioned to the water on which he treaded still and idle.
“Such a feat would be impossible, as I’m sure you do well know,
So I hate to disappoint you, but there’s nothing here to show.”
“Nothing here to show?” I responded out of instinct,
“How can you say that when your situation is so distinct?
I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but most ships sail the ocean,
While you traverse a pond not large enough to accomodate motion.”
At this point, I think I struck a nerve for his eyes began to narrow,
And soon their deep intensity made the waters seem quite shallow.
His voice was still as strong as ever, but now it made me fear.
He spoke as if I had thrust him headlong with a spear.
“Only the ignorant speak in ignorance.” His reply was short and sharp.
But his point was made, I was unknowledgable, and not just in part.
“I’m sorry, sir; you’re right. I don’t know your situation,
But I should very much like to, if you’ll forgive my irritation.”
I was pleased to see his smile return, and features revert to merriment.
“There’s nothing I like more than a man who sees his ignorance.
I’m sailing in a pool because there’s no sea that’s close enough,
And my dream has always been to live out the life I love.
I was at one time a sailer in the imperial navy
And I grew a fond attraction for life upon the sea.
But it’s here that I was raised; this valley is my home.
And I just can’t abandon the place where I have grown.
So I was torn in pieces between this valley and the water,
But decided that I would overcome even the power of nature.
So I emptied out this pool to the size that I would need,
Then contructed a ship on which to live and, insomuch, fulfilled my dream.
There you are, my astranged bewildered friend.
Now you know why my ship treads here and ‘sails on land’.”
I left his company soon after that, but very much in awe.
This man had defied all logic and defeated every law.
So driven by desire to make good his every chance
That he would not be kept from victory, no matter the circumstance.
He had taken up a position that was not thought plausible
And shown me that even the unthinkable was possible.
Now I’m off again and walking, many cliffs still left to scale,
As I continue on my travel o’re the hill and through the vale…