Ol’ Salty the Seaman

Ol’ Salty wakes up grumpin’ before dawn.

“Blasted seagulls!” he harangues, “Squeakin’n’a-squawkin’ this early in the morn.”

In a sleepy
still-drunken
stupor
he tugs on his boots
heave-ho!
and stumbles
down steps
over a wooden deck
to the beach.

“Blasted seagull!” he shakes his little fist, “Stare at me like that! I’m not a-scared of you, seagull!”

He huffs and puffs like a tea kettle blowing over
shooting steam from beneath the brim of his cap.

“Blasted seagull.. Don’t give me that stink-eye, seagull!”

Ol’ Salty settles down as the seagull drifts off uncaring
still staring
with a chest puffed out.

“Hmph.. blasted seagull.”

He muses into the sea and combs at his beard.

IMG_0302

He brightens for a moment
struck by an idea
and slips a pipe
from his pocket
eyes it
taps it
blows it
packs it
full of smoke.

He gazes across the sea
as the breeze
brushes long,
drawn-out
waves
rippling
lapping
against the shore

He nods his head back
to the sky
pre-dawn
faint and dark
speckled with stars

He breathes
and smells the air
tasting of salt.

The sun
begins his flight

and Ol’ Salty
loses himself

in the purple rays
in the chrome orange-yellow
in the halcyon blue
in the buckets of pink
spilling
among the clouds.

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