Title Our Authors

Alive and at the Helm

By Lee A. Nelson

It will call.

It always calls.

It calls

and there's no such thing as  rational

and it called upon a 2am

on a summer night.

I realized I had everything I need.

I've always had all that I need

even the balls to do it. 

I crept out of the house

towel in hand

and down the road to


It does help to live near a lake.


You can disappear into any lake

but you've all heard of Ontario:

smallest of the largest we have.

Pitch black

all alone

in stars and silence

I swam past the bars

where only me and my own

could fend chance

and current

and perhaps Loch Ness

but again, Ontario. 

It was plenty for the job.


I was

I am

much older

than the hunger that wills

such mission

such power

across dangerous water

despite the hunger

the call

that will always be my years

and I got way out there

to where cramps

and declining stamina

and all wills of what will be

could declare who's in charge

and I stroked, paddled

and floated the surface

of reasonable death

tranquil as it was

and found rare peace.


The abyss of my neighborhood

and the stars of Mother Abyss

reminded me what frailty is

when I thought for years

I already knew

and the silence that accompanied

a distance birds of prey

tap out…

I can't tell you.

I will call the call the call

and I will tell this as this

was medicine.

No doctor will prescribe it

and I will not endorse it

but it was all peace

buoyant surrender to no land

the only place where none of it is

and the most mute direct threat I've ever known

the greatest harrow I've never heard

or had ever welcomed.


I never thought of my children.

I never thought of my wife.

I never thought of any paramount matter

in my small world that truly matters.

I can tell you it was all worth doing.


If I'd gone down there to find

wind and waves or any other

formidable portends of

Mother Nature

I would've skipped rocks for a bit

gone home to pharmacology

and called it a night.


The raw world can rock

a baby to sleep.

This the towel taught me

as it dried my peace

and reminded me

why I brought it.







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