That day pure madness became the norm Captains, skippers and boys were as equals Standing up as if they were completely reborn Sailors scurried on masts, scaring seagulls Squeaky doors of their minds Flying off at the hinge At the thought of mirages Of landís lusty fringe. Those coveted and undiscovered By Columbus, Magellan and others. Only I will not see Those shores abound. Since the time I flew Nine knots ran aground. And the goals of lads Are as noble as mine. And where I now am - No oneís fault, only mine. All the frigates - my brothers, my fleet pass me by, But the truest of friends swallowed seaís salty spray Turned their bows to meet open seas, open sky, Set their sails in full, breaking wave. Cursing weather and fortune, Fearing nothing but death, All my children - my crew Have forsaken my decks They saluted from lifeboatís cannon For Columbus and one for Magellan. I can only drink foam. Waves cannot reach my lips. Tired flanks are exposed From the deck to the hips. And my flanks are not pretty, No hiding the truth. Go on look!.. At my sores, For I cannot be soothed. Near my rib is a hole - mark of black cannonballs Scares from ramming by pirates and even... You can also see slashes where I have been mauled, Barbs and hooks of the pirates receiving. Now my keel is resembling AN old guitar. Coral reefs gave my Belly a horrible scar. I am dying and fading and nearing my doom, Cruel saltwater rotting the deepest of wounds. Winds are sucking my soul Through the gaps and the hole, Off the decks, like the trolls And my breath they will stall. I am helpless before them From morning till night. Winds are hammering nails Through my soul with all might. Like a brawler unleashed, the wind does what it wants. This wind is most unwelcome guest. It could drown in wine that is stored in my holds, Or release me from my lengthy rest. I took faith in this story Like a trapped wild beast. But these winds that are angry, I need you the least. Masts of mine like arms of a wretch Sails like an old breast outstretched. There will be a miracle during my watch. Dear friend, the good surf, Give my body a wash. Holy water of oceanís Life-giving dew Will remove from my bones The hated taboo, And will fill up my sails. My delay will be through. Iíll catch up to them and forgive My old friends who forgot to remember. To my crew, ample decks Iíll give. I cannot keep a grudge for crewmembers. Only I think thereís not Any room in the ranks. Make some room, hey, corvette, Or Iíll rip up your flanks. Whatís the matter? Iím back. I escaped certain death. Dear frigate, stay back! We can all catch our breath. What is with... all of you? I can leave!.. Not come back. If I once was marooned, Is there no way back? Let me join your call! Sailships arenít we all? Thereíll be enough water for all! Thereíll be enough shores for all! Those coveted and undiscovered By Columbus, Magellan and others.
© Eugene Derbarmdiker. Translation, 2005