A Man Adrift On A Slim Spar

by

Stephen Crane


A man adrift on a slim spar

A horizon smaller than the rim of a bottle

Tented waves rearing lashy dark points

The near whine of froth in circles.

God is cold.


The incessant raise and swing of the sea

And growl after growl of crest

The sinkings, green, seething, endless

The upheaval half-completed.

God is cold.


The seas are in the hollow of The Hand;

Oceans may be turned to a spray

Raining down through the stars

Because of a gesture of pity toward a babe.

Oceans may become gray ashes,

Die with a long moan and a roar

Amid the tumult of the fishes

And the cries of the ships,

Because The Hand beckons the mice.


A horizon smaller than a doomed assassin's cap,

Inky, surging tumults

A reeling, drunken sky and no sky

A pale hand sliding from a polished spar.

God is cold.


The puff of a coat imprisoning air:

A face kissing the water-death

A weary slow sway of a lost hand

And the sea, the moving sea, the sea.

God is cold.


(1930)



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