A shipwreck fantasy, 'Inscrutable'

A poem in response to Alexander Cozens' painting, 'A shipwreck fantasy, "Inscrutable"'

A shipwreck fantasy, 'Inscrutable'

A shipwreck fantasy, ‘Inscrutable’

It’s been a while since the barque
was struck, its fragile crew
thrown overboard and swept away.
The wreck sleeps against the rock
like a child’s toy resting against a broken
sand-castle. A consoling fantasy.

For how long must the jagged lightning
rip the storm-tormented sky?
Is it land we see behind the wreck
or the black depth of ocean
broken by clouds crushing the horizon
with scudding hefts of grey?

What gentleness in the ship’s
soft cradle of sand or stone.
The ground lies in drifts like a dream
for this dumb homecoming.
There is nothing that the tempest
has not rearranged: an inscrutable eye.