The Storm of the Sea of Galilee
Decades of sorrow flash-lightning by.
The sepia sky is malleable, highlighted,
during the battle of shade
and tormented light.
The fishermen are hopeless
in the middle of this chaos: wind-tossed,
their faces petrified with doubt.
They do not trust the rudder
or sail or direction or wave
pounding its fists on the deck.
Every corner of their bodies tenses,
threatening to drown them in fear.
Their master is mercifully asleep
during this ranting and ravening storm.
They do not have belief to anchor them.
Now they want to head back,
try to locate calm shores.
Now they question why they trusted him.
The wind blasts. They boat lists. They beg,
“Master, save us.”
Now their master is awake. They can’t hear
whatever he is whispering to the storm.
White-knuckled lightning singes the air.
His lips are moving like oars.
He lays his hands upon the water,
The waves flatten.
They can detect the land faraway, yet near.
The sun is piercing the sky with thorns.
The water eases into sleep like a rocked baby.
Martin Willitts Jr
Martin Willitts Jr has 25 chapbooks including the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World, (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 20 full-length collections including the Blue Light Award 2019, The Temporary World. His recent book is Unfolding Towards Love (Wipf and Stock, 2020).
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