(Perilous position of H M S Terror Captain Back in the Arctic Regions in the summer of 1837, by Admiral William Smith)

You think back at the vertices of the bickering sea
and wonder, how did I get here? What has happened to He?

Spending the majority of your young life undertaking the petty duties of simple freight refresh your mind with the days, in naïve fleet, when you had sworn to yourself that you would never catch yourself in gloom and doubt while breaking the harsher waters of a foreign frontier.

Guilt and strange waves that beat the unidentified mind, trying to desperately identify itself, seclude you in a question of sanity; and no ships are out this far to consort you, not that you would make any attempt for sincere contact anyway.

The cold is your friend, and your tyrannical mind– are you your own confidante, or are you your own foe? You thought to have been sent for the corners of the earth for a good purpose, but now you don’t know.

Ice scrapes against the splinters of your aging body which once sailed so proud. –The blooming sails you were so self-conscious of, trusting in the wind, now ripple and tear; you fear that your work’s end is coming embarrassingly near. Your coal is running scarce, and you feel your blood run fatigued and sheer. The more you worry and loathe, your hull becomes further emaciated through the frozen layers; still so does your blind hubris rebel.

Fighting, fleeting, the contradiction of will makes itself clear. You’re confused, redirecting a quivering pole of hope; like that Union Jack that once was so defiantly flown, forlornly it beckons in every direction as the sickness takes hold.

And despite the crisis laboring down on your wood to bones, you distrust every island along the strait; cease to take siege of each blessing in sight, in plain.

Knowing in your numbing mien that this is the end of all you are made, the ice finally stops you and your hardened sea brigade.

Alone, so minuscule, in this Arctic void of aurora and black; the fires run dismal in the room of frigid heart attack.

Sleep, taking hold of the gifts that you have accepted too late, hope still runs thick in the ocean’s horizon of the coming season; from hibernation to freedom, you realize you must wake.

Sleep, wake.

Until the deep does take you, it is never too late.


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