From Ancient Oak

This storm,
nigh-relentless.

Waves, the rage of gods,
washed my crew
into the briny depths.

Poor ol’ Joe,
my faithful mate,
cracked his head
on the port railing,
as he met his fate.

I watched him slip
into Davey’s arms,
as his lifeless gaze
rose to meet mine.

This, my tenth command.

This, the tenth ship lost.

A thousand men dead, an obol each,
for Charon to carry ‘cross.

But, I, eternal sailor,
would never meet this fate,
because, I, unfailing,
love the Lady of the Waves.

Ancient, she was, cut
from an elder-oak.
My maidenhead love,
would rise and would float
when the tenth ship
sank deep into the foam.

You’ll find us both,
arm-in-arm, cheek-to-oak,
drifting high, floating on
the merciless sea,
my maiden’s home.

Cursed, she be,
but I’ll love her,
forever-on,
and I’ll love
whatever evil thing
lives in her
oaken bones.


©️ CG Tenpenny, 2019.

The mythology of this poem intrigues me. Was the maidenhead cut from a dryad’s oak? Does that wood then become cursed? I adore allusions to the old world and its mysteries.

Published by

CG Tenpenny

Thank you for dropping in to read my work! I hope you find something that interests you.

14 thoughts on “From Ancient Oak

      1. Haha! Yes, I get pretty freaked out being over open water too (plus I get major motion sickness so that doesn’t help). But I love the ocean too much to not try to capture its power and seductiveness with pen and ink.

        Liked by 1 person

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