(for Chuck and Sandra Leinweber, and Bob Hicks)
The lee rail's in the water, and the sails are drumhead taut,
And there's just a trace of terror in my smile,
But there's magic in the moment that simply can't be bought,
And I can dance with terror for a while.
My little ship is laughing as she crashes through the chop,
And the hull is filled with echoes of her voice;
It's hard to think she once was random lumber in my shop,
And a dream that didn't leave me with a choice.
The wind forsaken sails are hanging limp against the mast,
And there's just a trace of boredom in my smile,
But my feet are on the gunwale as I watch the clouds drift past,
And I can dance with boredom for a while.
I know that it's a treasure to be free to mess about
(As I raise a glass to wise old Brother Rat),
And I knew I might be rowing home before I started out,
So I can't complain if it should come to that.
The wind is warm and steady, and the sails are drawing well,
And there's nothing but pure pleasure in my smile;
My little ship is singing as she crests an easy swell,
And I can dance with pleasure for a while.
January 31, 2005
Ok... There are two classical "Galateas"; the one I have in mind is the second half of "Pygmalion and ...", that is, the statue of Aphrodite that Pygmalion fell in love with, and that Aphrodite animated. Chuck and Sandra Leinweber run a commercial website named "Duckworks", for people who build and sail small homemade boats; Bob Hicks publishes "Messing About in Boats", a semi-monthly magazine with a similar theme; "Brother Rat" is a character from Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows", who spoke the following line: "There is nothing-- absolutely nothing-- half so much worth doing as simply messing-about in boats." (Gatherings of small boat fanciers are known as "Messabouts" therefore...)