Doug sailed through stormy seas,
Battered by winds he could not control, but only react to.
At times the adept sailor,
Firm at the helm,
Directing his way,
Mastering his vessel, if not the heaving seas around him.
But often the lost mariner,
Sheets flailing, uncontrolled, in the wind.
From time to time you would see Doug out there,
Amongst the swells through which he guided his craft.
You could hear his voice on the wind,
Crying mightily with joy as, tiller in hand, he crested a wave,
His sails bellied and full,
Prow slicing through the sea as his vessel heeded his will.
And then he would descend into the trough,
Ship hidden from view,
His position barely guessed at,
His condition unknown.
The urge at those times was to send up a flare,
To say, “Here Doug. Come this way. Let me guide you home.”
But he could not see it,
Or could not get there.
It was into the wind,
A direction, try as he might, he could not go.
There were times when he would have a passenger with him,
Whom he picked up on some distant shore.
And you knew that, though still amidst the maelstrom,
He was not alone, and that was good.
But always that compassionless storm gripped him,
Would not let him go,
Would not let him be,
Would not let up,
Battering at him and his vessel,
The boards of the boat groaning with the strain,
The sails ragged from the ceaseless barrage,
The lines frayed from the constant tension.
But now the wind has shifted.
It has carried him home to port.
Doug’s sails are furled,
His anchor set,
The water smooth as glass.
Doug battles the storm no more.
The struggle is over.
He is at rest.