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A Cross Channel Limerick

By Eric Marsden


    (Dover, August 9th, 1996)


On Dover's White Cliffs, Bob West said,

"Hey, There's France!

 today that's where I'll head.

But the Ferries are Choking,

And the Tunnel? you're joking!"

So he jumped in and swam there instead.

Dark to Dark

By Kaeti Bailie


    (Bob West's Crossing of the Catalina Channel, 1998)


Dark to dark and full the day with salt and sun and raging seas.

Of blue that strikes the mind and lingers on as dream.

And all this long hard way, the slapping of the waves upon the face and place of time.


Time enough to pray for peace and pray for life and better life and love,

And wish that all could mend with this one act of self-annihilation.

To hope---that act of freedom and of will,

That turns this black and blue to purple heart of gold,

And melts the iron mind of flesh to steel.


We watched on deck in awe and admiration,

This self-appointed sacrificial lamb,

Set forth to claim this land of mind uncharted.

While all the rest were left behind on shore

To stand, and stare, and wonder why.

And all that could be said of it,

And all that could be known,

Was that the mermaid Cayley called him,

Called him to come home.

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