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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Lifeguard (11/09/06)

TITLE: The Master of the Sea
By Kenn Allan
11/16/06


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Some say I must have learned to swim
Still in my mother's womb;
While most may doubt this quip as fact,
It's easy to assume.

To be the best I pledged my soul,
Unto the point of death;
I learned to measure every stroke
And cherish every breath.

I spent my youth among the waves—
Of this, all will agree,
And soon my reputation grew
As Master of the Sea.

When competition came my way
I captured every prize,
And spurned opponents if they failed
To measure in my eyes.

I've clung to life on floating ice
And battled tropic rains,
But while it seems I've done it all,
One challenge still remains ...

There is an island, I've been told,
Between the sky and shore,
Where beaches gleam with golden sands
And silver breakers roar.

It shines with glory to the east
Beyond my earthly sight,
Protected well by angry tides
And jagged reefs of white.

No living soul would dare to swim
Those churning swells but me;
A fitting climax to my reign
As Master of the Sea.

So with my faith securely placed
In courage, skill, and brawn,
I leap into the briny depths
And strike off towards the dawn.

But as the day fades into night
And hours drag as years,
My body starts to weigh me down
And roaring fills my ears.

My aching arms assail in vain
As riptides choose my course,
But then I hear a different roar
And rejoice at its source!

In the distance, straight ahead—
That strip of golden beach
Where silver breakers toss and spray
Just out of mortal reach.

I must continue pushing on
Towards praises I foresee
For my self-made accomplishments
As Master of the Sea.

Then from the troubled water's edge
Bursts forth a brilliant flame
Which silhouettes a waving man
Who calls me by my name ...

"Are you in need of help out there?
Please answer, I implore!
I'll guide you safely to the shoals
Where you can wade ashore."


But I ignore the offer made;
No help will I condone—
When I emerge upon that beach
I must succeed alone.

So when the light shines to the left
I veer off to the right;
It dims a bit with every stroke
And finally fades from sight.

I turn again to face the shore
And gasp a breathless plea
That I might carry out my boasts
As Master of the Sea.

A sudden squall sweeps from the west
To cross its path with mine;
It torments me with crushing waves
And stinging sheets of brine.

Not able to withstand its force,
I founder in the gale
And sink into the dismal depths
Without strength to prevail.

From deep inside my swirling mind
I hear a voice quite clear;
It is the same one as before,
Still gentle and sincere ...

"For you I'll speak and calm this storm
And thus preserve your quest;
Please let me guide you to the shore
So I may grant you rest."


I break the surface once again
With cheers of victory,
And pile all credit on my claim
As Master of the Sea.

With newfound strength, I navigate
Around the jagged reef;
The prospect of my journey's end
Bestows a drained relief.

When in-between myself and shore
The ocean seethes and boils
As tentacles rise from the depths
Entwined in hellish coils!

The Kraken rises from its lair
Intent on my demise,
And studies every stroke I take
With black and lifeless eyes.

To stay beyond its slimy grasp,
I try to swim around;
If trapped among those suctioned arms
I surely will be drowned.

But suddenly I feel a tug
Which dislocates my knee;
There's no respect for my repute
As Master of the Sea.

To my amazement and alarm,
The man I’d heard before
Now hastens from the water's edge
As if upon the shore.

He treads the surface of the deep;
"Release him!" he commands,
And when the Kraken breaks its grip
He offers me his hands ...

"Let me save you from your peril
And journey at your side,
For if you choose to swim alone
You'll drown here in your pride."


The strength is ebbing from my limbs,
My eyes are growing dim;
I take the faith kept to myself
And give it all to him.

So with his help I limp ashore
And leave what used to be;
I ask his name, and he replies,
"The Master of the Sea."


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This article has been read 1257 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Louise Fountain11/16/06
Outstanding! what else could be said?
Helen Paynter11/16/06
I loved this parable and the last verse was brilliant.
Monique Fox11/16/06
Please post more of your poems at Poetry and Poets of God: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/poetryandpoetsofgod/
Suzanne R11/19/06
A magnificent parable indeed - well done.
Trina Courtenay11/19/06
Awesome! Chills ran down my spine reading the last line. I was wondering if the swimmer would realize there is only one true 'Master of the Sea.'
Jan Ackerson 11/20/06
I agree--the last line is the one that gave me shivers. Dust off the mantel.
Teresa Lee Rainey11/21/06
I enjoyed reading this so much. I also wondered when your MC would realize who was truly Master of the Sea and gave a big grin at the last line. :^)
Maxx .11/22/06
Who's this author? The Master of FW Poetry. Very strong. Excellent work.
Sharlyn Guthrie11/23/06
Well-done.
Debbie OConnor11/24/06
Great work, as always, Kenn! Love it!