Poetry by Jim Nasium

The Impossible Journey

The time to leave this place had come
what we wanted to do here is left unfinished
our business was not welcome
the water front town was no longer safe for us
time ran out sooner than we wanted it to
so a new plan unfolds with no consideration
arrangements have to be made right now
a quick escape would be best at this point

A cargo ship ready to leave the canal
offered passage for desperate travelers
the choice had to be made instantly
we could leave with in the hour
sacrificing only comfort for our safety
perhaps it would be best
to sail south through rough waters
to the sea port town of Barranquilla

The option was to leave at dawn
crossing Southern Panama by foot
cutting through over grown jungles
following foot paths as old as time
stopping to rest at ruins full of wonder
the hot sun our only guide South
walking slowly towards safety waiting for us
in another countries open arms

Exactly how long the trail would take
for desperate travelers on foot
who had never been through this jungle
was something that no one could be sure of
the ship South seemed the better choice
so we gladly paid our fare in Colombian Pesos
made our way to our private quarters
and thanked God we were safe at last

Slowly sailing away from danger
the dock and city street lights fade
as dark wee hours sky dissolve
giving way to dawns red hues
for an hour or so everything was perfect
then a storm kicked up out of no where
you could feel the winds force growing stronger
the closer the ship got to the storm

As if it wasn't already bad enough
we sailed through the center of the storm
winds blew even stronger than before
no one knew what would become of us
perhaps we should have taken the trail
that cuts through the uncharted jungle
the sea is always rough this time of year they say
but I for one fear the worst

I said nothing to the crew about how I felt
even though I knew in my heart we were in trouble
sailing men have crossed these waters before us
many smaller ships that were over burdened
with holds packed full of illegal cargo
even though this sea is unforgiving
the time lost is important to us
I wondered if luck was still on our side

Tossed and thrown by the current
the angry sea tortured the ship
with no regard for the life on board
or the cargo packed in the hold
there was nothing left to do but pray
as we slowly we made our way South
twin diesel engines strained under the load
fighting the waves that kept us from land

All hands prayed that by dawn
we would see land and finally dock
to walk on dry land was all we wanted
the danger behind us now forgotten
adventure waits in a new place
for desperate travelers once forced
to take the impossible journey
to remain free for a little longer

Barranquilla may smell like dead fish
but the back street women are friendly
market place food is all fresh sea food
hotels are clean and rates are cheap
it seems as if we found a home for now
fruits of the land and maps given to us
show that many wonders are waiting
in a new place for eager adventurers
who walk around higher than the Andes
©2001 Jim Nasium
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