a vast and choppy sea
The Promise braved
Her decks awash with angry waves,
She flew with billowed sail.
My Captain fought the wayward wheel
To clear the jagged reef
Where weaker ships with sailors past
Lay torn on shoals of grief.
"Land ho!" I cried from high
The swaying mizzen mast,
"Safe haven lies to starboard side
Until this storm has passed!"
The Promise lurched and swung
Her timbers groaned in pain;
She headed for a small atoll
Half hidden in the rain.
There, between the breaking surf
And reef of men's extremes,
I gazed ashore and first beheld
The Land of Broken Dreams.
"I know this place," my
His face etched with concern,
"I've strolled the beach a million
And hiked it stem to stern.
"It's not a place for men like you
Who sail among the stars,
But better left for those who weep
And bleed from bloodless scars."
But deep within my reckless heart
A thirst for knowledge surged
Which flowed up to my foolish tongue
And through my lips emerged.
"I must explore this land, M’lord!
Allow me, I implore."
"If you insist," my Captain
"Prepare to row ashore."
Beyond the foamy caps of white
And o’er the gleaming sand,
We strode together side by side
Into that dismal land.
No sound of bird nor beast disturbed
Our thoughts along the way;
The air was thick with swirling mists
And reeked of foul decay.
"What a stench!" I pinched my
"M’lord, what could that
"It is Regret," my Captain said,
"O'er Dreams lost to the sea;
"For when a Dreamer never shares
The hopes which lies within,
His aspirations drift away
Before they can begin."
A distance on we came upon
Some gaily-painted carts,
But scrutiny showed them to be
Weighed down with broken hearts.
"How sad is this!" my soul
"From whence are these hearts
My Captain said, "These are the Dreams
"Of those who loved too soon;
"Instead of waiting for true love
To earn respect and trust,
These were seduced by mere romance
And traded Dreams for lust."
The blazing sun and salty air
Had left me parched with thirst;
I wandered to a nearby pool
And took a drink, then cursed.
"This water is not fit to drink!"
I spat with crude disdain.
"I quite agree," my Captain
"That pool is filled with Pain.
"It flows from Dreams once cast aside
By poverty or fears
And thus were drained of their desire
And filled with bitter tears."
Beyond the pool we climbed a hill
And spied on the plateau
Ten thousand cracked and empty jugs
All standing in a row.
"What Dreams were kept in these, M’lord?
And pray, where have they gone?"
My Captain said, "These once contained
The Dreams that took too long.
"Impatience strained their earthen sides,
Their walls split with Dismay,
And soon the treasures they held dear
All slowly leaked away."
As darkness fell we started back,
The chill of night drew nigh,
When overhead my eyes beheld
A firestorm in the sky.
I quaked with fear, "What does this
"When will those flames
My Captain sadly shook his head,
"They’re never satisfied;
"That blaze is kindled in men's hearts
And burns with fervent heat–
It melts the joy from Dreams fulfilled
With flames of vile conceit;
"Instead of praising what has come,
Some scorch Dreams with rebuff
And like a bonfire in the night,
They never burn enough."
Since that day I've walked the decks
And tried to understand
The truth behind my Captain's words
Shared in that hellish land.
But one small grain of wisdom learned
From what I could perceive–
It's not enough to have a Dream…
You also must believe.