Saint Paul’s Bay

storm bird 2 edit

The steer board tore against his grip
Storm waves rose all about
His reefed in sails they might yet rip
His soul felt clouds of doubt

He thought of Biblos and his home
Above the wine dark sea
He swore no more now would he roam
He feared this destiny

Ahead a sea bird glided by
Across those raging seas
He heard a faint bewitching cry
Such birds soar with such ease

The shearwater was heading west
Dark skies loomed sour and grey
That bird she seemed serene and blessed
Would she show him the way?

He eased about towards the lee
And went the way she flew
He rode crests of that monstrous sea
With all the skills he knew

He prayed that bird take him safe on
Towards some safe shore line
Inside of him some faint Hope shone
Could this bird be some sign?

Two passengers sat calm serene
Where waves crashed all about
There faces wet with watery sheen
Still now they seemed devout

He was paid well for them to go
To Rome to face some fate
Yet now they sat here all aglow
Mid seas that raged of hate

Ahead the sky was black as black
That shearwater part white
With darker feathers on her back
She came and went from sight

A ships boy there came to him then
Said “Birds lead to mischief
They nest away from beast and men
On rocky shore or cliff”

A panic gripped his heart and mind
He thrust the steer board out
Mid such spray that he seemed half blind
He heard his Bosun shout

“We missed those rocks you saved us all”
As cliffs loomed to his right
The bird let out a frantic call
A bay came into sight

He drove his ship straight at the shore
The prow ploughed through the sand
Her planking creaked then cracked and tore
Death still seemed near at hand

A wave took two men overboard
And straight onto the beach
They stood and cried out to their Lord
Then Death slunk out of reach

The sea became becalmed at last
That wrecked ship’s days were done
With broken keel and shattered mast
Against that storm she’d won

And Saul of Tarsus walked some way
Up from the low shoreline
He stopped but briefly, stopped to pray
“God, could this be a sign”

Back by the ship the captain stood
And spoke with fervent joy
“Bosun” he said “That boy did good”
“Who sir, we have no boy…”

His mind it reeled, his mind it spun
Upon that low shoreline
He saw rays of a rising sun
“God, could this be a sign”

A demon spirit left that bird
She settled on her nest
That demon stuttered word on word
“Satan, I failed your test…”

And Saul of Tarsus travelled forth
To Rome to lose his head
In that great city to the north
His cause would not lie dead

From Frigar’s Saga


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