Beach Stranding

Strapped to the fabled White Whale,
Ahab rode his flanks inland
where waves wove a trail
along golden beaches of sand.

The ebbing tides receded quickly,
leaving the carcass now moored
and the stench rose so thickly
that Ahab struggled and roared.

“O fickle leviathan of Fate!”
he cried, all futility.
“You took my crew and firstmate,
but I’ve seen the end of thee!”

Along the golden coast of Cape Cod
rich families gathered together
as if to behold a dead god
while the captain cursed the weather.

“How hot Summer’s winds often blow
when a man is at Hell’s door!
Pride cometh now, well I know,
before the Fall to this shore!”

The sun baked the sand to gleam
as to be freshly shaved gold dust
and Ahab, within the whale’s steam,
growled as an engine gone to rust.

“Full market value for this bounty!”
He cried. “Ere true worth be enjoined
with apt reward, I’ll not count thee
entitled to a foe so finely-loined!”

The families looked on two thus bound
and pondered how came they from the sea—
this bloated, wasteful pair, pound for pound
equal to their own profligacy.

Innards soon exploded outwards,
festooning that private island shore
with a banquet for squawking birds
which glided in to feast on the gore.

And so strong was the gaseous blast
from the swollen sides of that whale
that it minced the families, all amassed
in the rotten blubber of a morality tale.

Inspired Folly

How inspiring was Ahab, and how inspired,
like a blacksmith hammering his will upon the sea
as well as upon the hearts of the men he had hired
to work his vessel as he sought his enemy.

He was a master wizard in a captain’s guise,
a leader born to take charge of other men,
steeping them in the vainglorious enterprise
of hunting down the albino leviathan.

What a madness was stamped upon him—
a feverish fury forged from fickle fate,
his leg having been taken by the cruel whim
of some trickster god for mirth of bait.

And to think, his lost leg should so doom
not only Ahab to join it down below
in the salty depths, but all those whom
entrusted themselves to his manic undertow.

He made such a defiant last stand,
propelled by the lingering phantom pain
as he clutched the wheel with a steady hand
and steered his ship, and himself, insane.

So many bodies dragged down to the depths,
like Fallen Angels slain in war with God,
cast from great heights as extinguished seraphs
for the pride of Ahab and the doomed Pequod.