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Sea Mistress
by Cheryl C. Helynck

The sea is an demanding mistress,
 she will not be taken for granted.
  Those who travel on her wavy skirts must obey 
or reside forever  in the depths of her soul.  
She does not show favoritism as the smallest craft 
to the largest ship must comply with her will.

She can afford safe passage from one
land to another,
calmly ignoring the presence of the vessels that
sail across her.
Then on the whim of the wind she can show
her fury and the journey can be a ride
through a watery hell.

This lady has the strength to make even the largest 
vessels whine and plead for her mercy.
 Struggling to ride her  fierce waves 
many a ship has submitted to her will and 
buried their bow into her belly taking down all aboard.

Then as if a warning to others she spits the occasional 
ship onto the shores.  The ghostly remains of
a boat that once sailed her waters and fell
into her ill  favor. 
 Whipped and beaten its remains are taken by its 
mistress to lay ravaged against some rocky coral.

She has taken the treasures of kings and queens 
and still held ransom the ships and crews of 
those who offered it up to her.  
Then at other times she hears the whispered pleas
 of the poorest sailor and permits his return to shore. 
 Sometimes tossing his thirsty body in her brine 
for days teasing him with her offer of refreshment.

This mistress can also lie perfectly still for days 
holding captive a clipper ship when the winds 
refuse to fill its sails.  Then she becomes a
desert that offers no oasis, no shelter from
the sun and 
the ship seems bound to her surface as if sinking
 in her wet sands with each attempt to move onward.

She can strike her waves like a mighty whip that
 crashes down on the decks of ships.  
Some seemingly coming out of the heavens 
their height so immense.   
The size of her being always reminds the sailor
 that he is but a ripple on her body and if he fails 
to heed her commands she will consume him.

Why then do men sail upon her waves? 
 Is it that she is beautiful and draws men to her 
rocking them with her breathing motion?  
Can it be her calming affect as she carries them
 from one shore to another lifting, stroking and
 lapping the sides of their ships? 
 Is it the challenge to be ridden that she tosses 
out that men must accept and try to meet?

The sea is a mystery mistress and will 
never be fully understood by man.  
She remains always in control and those 
that ride her waves must always respect her.
  Knowing that her soul is too deep for man to conquer
 and at best he lies a supplicated servant to her wishes.

Words by ©Cheryl C. Helynck
Reflection series 1998

Sea Mistress" by © Cheryl C. Helynck
 and used with permission.
Visit Cheryl's website by clicking on the banner above.

"I am sailing"  by Rod Stewart


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September 16, 2001
Updated: September 23, 2018