My ship not under command
wobbling on the sea of the world’s
ravaged by the winds made up of
million people’s moist sighs
her steering gear broken down
and my trusts severely busted
I hoist the two red lights on my mast
and proceed to plot a quick fix.
I unroll you and spread you
carefully on my chart table
roll my parallel ruler
on your compass rose and
draw the course from my last DR*
and mark my current estimated position.
But I am not sure how far
have I drifted while riding the high tides
and how much have I been dragged
by the ebbing streams.
I look for the stars in your eyes
and find the Great Bear in all its glory
that soon changes its shape
to become Cassiopeia’s chair.
The Cygnus and
interchanging their positions
in rapid succession
make it difficult for me to shoot
a Rigel or a Deneb
but somehow I capture
an unruffled Polaris
shining meekly but steadily
and plot its altitude.
I am glad I got my latitude
but with all other stars
mocking at me and playing truant
and a moronic crescent of a moon
taunting me and
prancing on the vagrant waves
dying off in the distant horizon
how do I get the other position line
that may intersect my latitude
and give me my other coordinate
* DR – Dead Reckoning position based on course and speed only
MAY 2017 / JAN-FEB 2019 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords.com
Dilip Mohapatra (b.1950), a decorated Navy Veteran started writing poems since the seventies. His initial foray into the world of literature was through poetry workshops in college and inspirations from his teacher Jayanta Mahapatra, an acclaimed poet in contemporary English. His poems have appeared in many literary journals of repute and anthologies worldwide. Some of his poems are included in the World Poetry Yearbook, 2013 and 2014 Editions. He has six poetry collections to his credit published by Authorspress, the latest being Dewdrops of Dawns, which has received raving reviews in multiple literary journals globally. Currently his latest, a Professional book titled Campus to Corporate which is a career navigation manual for the students aspiring for a successful corporate career and for newcomers to the industry to survive and succeed has become a best seller with more than 10000 copies sold. He lives with his wife at Pune, India.