Gypsy Moth

The incandescent room lies bathed, opaque
From lapping light in walls an ocean shade.
The anchored corner bed, unmade, to make,
Is barking something salty and delayed.

The vacant sheets of patterned blue and white
Lie still as rumpled heaps of sailing cloth.
Sir Francis’ morning dreamship sails the night,
Then bids me come to make my Gypsy Moth.

For deep in sleeping’s catch I sail at ease,
With Morpheus as captain guide and probe.
And find my course unlatched through charted seas,
Alone and single-handed round the globe.

But then I choke the daydream in my head,
And act on orders loud to make my bed.


Previously unpublished. This poem refers to Sir Francis Chichester and his yacht Gypsy Moth IV, on which he became the first person to circumnavigate the world solo, in 1967.