Matthew Schultz

A Strange Voyage

The moon peeks between impenetrable clouds.
Steely seas, cold blue, roar against majestic crags
that tower over our rickety vessel. We do our best,
hours before dawn, to catch the lights below:
twinkling fish that promise another dream.

The blinding sun, an island on the horizon,
disappears the stars into morning. Upon
the swaying deck, children ask about something
that stirs beneath, brooding a doleful song
about unkind eyes––rapiers of silver.

A still evening, we drift past a foreboding
town: floating, deserted: a place of bad omens.
Something cries below, the boat pushes on.
Storm clouds some way off, an elder awakes
from a vision but refuses to speak of it.

The winds begin to howl; mauve hills
on the horizon. Restless, the starlit ocean
for as far as the eye can see teems with dead fish
adrift on the blue. Our future is uncertain.
The sacred, never-ending sea begins to surge.

Source & Method

Twitter Bot: @str_voyage // compiled and collated bot messages into a coherent narrative poem.

Matthew Schultz teaches Irish Studies and creative writing at Vassar College. He is the author of two novels––On Coventry (2015) and We, The Wanted (2021). His most recent poems appear in Thrush and Eunoia Review.

Issue 24