I was out to lunch this early fall,
with my sweetheart, disturbed by a call.
Tried not to answer, boss wouldn’t wait.
“Go to the harbor”, he yelled, “before it’s too late”.
Duty calls, I sped to the pier,
swerved through traffic as fast as I dare.
Screeched to a halt at the dock by the bay,
the boat’s motors revved then underway.
Holding on tight I asked what’s the fuss?
The skipper pointed up at the blob over us.
It was big and gray, no particular form,
battered and tattered like a dingy in a storm
It hung from balloons, one at each end,
letting air out slowly to descend.
It kissed the calm harbor with hardly a swell.
A slit appeared then a putrid smell.
Followed by a ladder of rope dropped to the sea,
then an old head popped out “Ahoy thar matey.”
We climbed aboard the blob that fell from the sky.
Inside appeared to be a ship with no sails but masts high.
A portal to the past or future, it wasn’t clear.
My eyes wide open, couldn’t fathom what’s near.
Bos’n whistle blowing, ships bell ringing,
Captain’s on deck, old sailors singing.
Adrift in time for many a year,
brass shone bright, decks scrubbed bare.
Beards grown long, spirits grown weak,
searching endlessly for the end they seek
I asked many questions and he of I.
“How did you come to fall from the clear blue sky?”
He shrugged and answered “balloons in the sun.”
He asked how the war went; I said “you won”
Pleased by the news, great joy was abound.
The captain and crew, spirits were found.
We told him our location, name and job.
He told us the story of his great flying blob.
“I built her to survey the rogue enemy.
Launched in the spring, eighteen sixty-three.
But she rose too quickly and at too fast a pace.
Caught in a current and thrust into space.
She’s wrapped in layers of thick blubber.
Fin of spruce to serve as rudder.
A ship out of water floating in space,
propelled by methane made from our waste.
And in her belly the mighty tree grew;
wood for repairs, air for the crew.
Trimmed to perfection, nurtured with care,
the trees demise is all that we fear.”
“The tree is the living when all else seems dead.
Greens for the birds then eggs we are fed.
Twigs feed the fires for heat and our light,
the roots of survival the engine of flight.”
The captain paused for word from the mate.
A decision to make before it’s too late.
The blubber was oozing in the midday sunlight,
absorbing seawater, soon too heavy for flight.
He called out the order to make all lines taut.
Bid us farewell and shared one last thought.
“No matter how far our souls may roam –
the journeys not over until we are home.”
The blob sailed off high in the sky –
then disappeared in the blink of an eye.
The captain and crew homeward at last,
seeing the future, choosing and the past.