Into the Jaws of the Sea

Poem, photo, and photo editing by Andrew R. Duckworth
One last boat rides ocean waves.
The dead of Dark Gate make sea graves.
A proud man sails with ship and crew
To slaughter a beast of the ocean caves.
Harpoons at the ready, waters turning colder.
Drunken men with each drink grow bolder.
Atlantic waters hide open jaws
Preventing sailors another day older.
Firing frantically into the deep
When out of the waves the creature leaps,
Setting eye upon the unprepared
While a foolish shepherd rallies his sheep.
Jaws open wide, claiming its prey,
The monster attacks without delay
While the lost turn cowards, pale and scared.
The ship, in splinters, washes away.

This poem serves as a bit of a followup to “Dark Gate.” Rather than find inspiration exclusively from H.P. Lovecraft, I decided to draw also from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. I personally do not like the novel Moby Dick and am not a massive fan of Melville’s writing style. However, take away the writing style of Melville and the convoluted conversation about Whaling, etc, etc, etc, and it is actually a good story. However, none of the crew survives in my poem. They are the last remnants of Dark Gate, out to get revenge on this sea creature that completely wiped away the city and, in their pride, they feel that they may have a chance at taking down the beast. Yet, as you’ve undoubtedly realized, a sea creature large enough or powerful enough to destroy a city will not be taken down by one whaling vessel. So, by the end of the poem, they, along with the rest of the inhabitants of Dark Gate, make up sea graves. This is again a work of art for art’s sake, as much as I dislike that phrase. There is not necessarily some underlying message and it isn’t necessarily didactic, unless in some fit of insanity one has convinced themselves it would be a good idea to run off at the nearest opportunity to hunt down the ocean’s largest predator. In that case, color this work didactic.

A note on the photo: This is actually not a photo of the sea floor. It isn’t coral, it isn’t sea rock. Rather, this is a photo I took when touring a cave in Arkansas some time back. It is an image of tiny stalactite that I edited the coloring on to appear to be under water and simply turned the image upside down.

This writing is the work of its author, Andrew Ryan Duckworth, and can in no way be reproduced, copied, or distributed in any form without request from the author.

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