Door of Life

The door to my office is a door of life.

It opens for me because it is never locked.

I open it and close it at will.

Today as I reach out and open it again

I step into a different world.

Macaws cry piercing the tepid air

with their shrill screams of indignation

at my presence leading an expedition fighting

our way back from the torrid zones of discovering

the world’s largest diamond embedded in the jagged

rocks of Optimisto Thule, pulsing volcano of legend,

never conquered by any soul alive to tell the tale.

Return is problematic. My men fear. The porters

descend to mere hysteria, but I am sure,

the words of my mother’s favorite poem etched upon

my heart, ‘I am the master of my fate,’ quoth she.

Yesterday we sailed for Cowabonga on the tide,

headed home a hold full of spices, silks and statuary,

the calif’s daughter stowaway desperate to escape her father’s

ruthless rule and I indifferent to his wrath, my men as

reckless as myself in defense and championship of love.

We land at the Isle of Tokay in time to quell a revolt

by zealots against the beneficent rule of King Sparrow Feather,

blood brother to my father and gain our heralded return

to port sails shredded by the elements and mended by

the patchwork application of shirts torn from our bronzed

bodies and sewn haphazard by the calloused hands

of my faithful crew singing lustily from the yards

to sweethearts, wives and women

who intend to be waving silken handkerchiefs with florid

monograms from curtained gilded carriages wishing

at least momentarily to remain anonymous.

Tomorrow what shall it be?

A ride to glory astride Painted Bob,

greatest stallion ever sired on the Montana range or an ordeal

of fifty days adrift upon a raft in the vast Pacific torpedoed

at night under a new moon after that fool of a boson’s mate lit a cigarette

from the quarter deck into the peering eye of our Imperial enemy through

the periscope of his lurking submarine?

Or maybe that squirrel outside my window retrieving a walnut

buried in the snow has stories to tell and if I merely remain quiet

he’ll whisper what it’s like to be free and wild and funny

in this all too newsweary world.

The door to my office is a door of life.

Imagine what would happen if I open it now

and leave it wide.