- By Agnes Wathall
Sea Fever & Other Poems
No ancient mariner I,
Hawker of public crosses,
Snaring the passersby
With my necklace of albatrosses.
I blink no glittering eye
Between tufts of gray sea mosses
Nor in the high road ply
My trade of guilts and glosses.
But a dark and inward sky
Tracks the flotsam of my losses.
No more becalmed to lie,
The skeleton ship tosses.
If love has cast a shadow where we stood,
There lies on Kensington's sun-sifted grass
Under the leaf-tent of an ancient wood
A subtle shade that Sunday strollers pass.
Along the dark Victorian promenade
Of terraced Thames, between the beams of light,
The silent lips of shadow-clung-to-shade
Embrace with words unspoken in the night.
Wraith of a hand trails in the twirling pools
Left by your oars dipped in the Serpentine.
We who were the sad and festive fools
Are moony phantoms keening, "This was mine."
When braver loves these haunted spots have blessed,
Our lingering ghosts may then be laid to rest.
Agnes Wathall (1907-2004) Unfortunately, we know very little about Agnes Louise Wathall Tatera beyond the fact that she published a small book of poems, A Trick of Light, under her maiden name, Agnes Wathall. The book was published by Braun-Brumfield in 1984. From the book's Acknowledgements page, we have culled the names of a number of journals and sundry publications that published her work: among them The Lyric, Orphic Lute, Orbis, Modern Haiku, Bonsai, Quickenings, Prophetic Voices, Hobby Horse and The Chicago Tribune.—Michael R. Burch