titanic       –  peter (1975 – )


the grey day deepens, darkens into dusk;

the writhing waters, softly sighing, resign

themselves to powers beyond the brooding sky.

far below the restless, shifting surface of the sea,

where night and day and season cannot reach,

the ghostly bulk of a rusting wreck rests

in the frigid gloom. in the lightless depths

its barnacled hull (its worn, lifeshorn shell)

is an invisible blemish on the vast and barren sands.

only the black, indifferent arctic currents

crowd the cryptic corridors and shroud the soundless decks

where all is still. in timeless taciturnity it lies

undisturbed: the forsaken husk of a sunken dream.


Work has been keeping me really busy lately, and I have struggled to find the time and inspiration to write. But I do want to post regularly, so I am going to do something I am not sure I should: share my poetry. I am reluctant to do so, because art always gives away more of the artist than the artist intends. I generally wear my heart on my sleeve, but I feel positively naked doing this. Still, maybe somebody connects, and that is really all a writer or a poet wants, at the end of the day – to forge connections to a common humanity.


I wrote this poem at the height of my depression in 2004. It seemed to me that the tragedy of the Titanic was a perfect metaphor, not just for my life, but for human experience. All of our colossal dreams – our hopes, our ambitions, our desire for life to have significance and meaning – end up invariably on the bottom of the ocean floor, forgotten in the barren wasteland of time and space. The richness of everything we are, all that we strive for, must one day be lost.

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