Seven Come Eleven

By Kent Duryee


Towering walls of inky water

gape over ripped and yawing decks.

Tattered bits of flag and steel whip left, then right

in the dream night screaming wind.

Hissing, foaming crests billow white and blue

above silent hope and prayer and the

steel gray hulk of prosperity and dreams.


Dreams of sunlit sand and crashing surf

surge within olive-drab-and-steel.

Gold and blonde, the summer shimmers June forever.

A resounding shot reports from beyond the pale

and time and fate rip whistling through the wind.

Icy-cold-and-fixed, eyes gaze wide into eternity.

Youth and hope spring eternal, out onto the red, red sand.


Red moon shines heavy in the back alleyway.

Newspapers spiral weightless up the red brick walls,

while blood thickens under the yellow light of city night.

Sirens rend the night while stars flash so far above the roar.

Accused, there is the final mile, the journey begun on the streets at night.

Deep within sterile-clean, well lighted halls,

travesty waits beyond the door with gleaming tools and frigid stare.


What visions there are when destiny and fate

stand up for judgment in eternity’s court.

Searchlights cast through darkened skies,

and find no faults in clouds,

but spin headlong through the night.

Mists and foggy dew whisper just out of sight

of the boxcar steeling away on the track,

rails singing in the light.


Rolling bones are few and far away

and ring a hollow song,

while sailors sing and lovers sweat.


While justice slams the prison door,

snake eyes in the grass face the sun

on eternity’s far distant shore.