Poems from the Coast | A Maritime Poetry Series
This latest poem by Daniel Wade continues our celebration of the maritime legend Admiral William Brown whose military prowess left an indelible mark on the country of Argentina and made him a hero to the Argentine people.
Admiral William Brown
“…y tres vivas a la patria!” – bold statement.
Plying his voice trumpet, the crippled Almirante,
securing the bridge deck, snarls a baritone
order to the crew, hunched like rune-stones
to the timbers, impounded by smoke
and grapeshot, to hold a-larboard against
fanged sails, the soaring drapery,
Brazilian canvas, and thick harras of foam
stampeding to port: diving waves,
unmoved of life as of death.
The flotilla is gathered like an audience,
red flags waving coyly to the front line.
And everlasting, like the sleep of stones,
are the hosannas chanted in his name.
His marred limb, splayed gorily like a trestle,
is washed down by the very waters
his legacy once tested.
For his will, the admiralty’s fire burns
all the more livid. Sickened by colonies,
he has felt most truly the bulk
of chains and freedom’s cool reprieve
cut him clean of press-gangs,
of indenture’s enfeebling venom.
The sea is the only master he will pledge to.
No painter’s canvas shall flaunt his likeness,
nor a composer’s march trumpet
his disembarkation, for the colours of liberty
are as unfixed as the very winds flustering them.
How well does he know the pampean fringes,
the adored river plate uncoiling to oblivion,
swelling the sea’s immensity?
He tries standing upright like a statue
undraped for some lesser anniversary
to hit the blockade’s roof over grouping
of complement and small arm —
for the cresendi of smoke and soaring jetsam.
About Daniel Wade
Daniel Wade is a poet and playwright from Dublin, Ireland. He is a graduate of Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology where he studied English and Journalism.
Check out his website danielwadeauthor.com for more.