Pirate’s Den

it was a mission i
never meant to accept
a treasure hunt for a chamberlain’s key
a silver cypher with a face like a lion
and an emerald-studded crown
that was stolen by a pirate on a
ship full of moonshine who
brandished a heart-shaped sword,
that infamous thief and lord of
the island of eleven rising moons

it was a fortnight before i got there
to that island of doom, a labyrinth of
sand and fright that
rose up around a castle
made of bone, the sea was a
blue-green storm and
guarding the shore one
great glowing octopus like an
army of floating skulls

i coasted along like a little tilted tea kettle
till suddenly i found myself in an
unholy predicament, my
shoe caught in a tangle of reeds a
foot beneath the surface and
in urgent need of rescue

it was there the captain found me,
surfing on a cloud above the
midnight shore, the blade of that great
heart-shaped sword glittering like a
wild-eyed demon in the moonlight
you, there, he says, swooping down on
a surfboard made of gold, take this
*flings me a life raft and a
chalice full of moonshine*

there’s only two things people come
‘round here looking for, one’s a taste of my
famous dreamsicle moonshine and
the other’s that godforsaken key, he says, and
i bet i know which one you’re after, eyes blazing
like two mad rubies setting fire to the seas

now listen here *pulls me up on his surfboard,
red bandana blowing hard against the
neon breeze* most people spend their lives
looking for keys that unlock the wrong doors and
swords to fight the wrong battles and the
most important thing you can do is
act from your own center instead *puts one
bony finger on my chest* there’s no
door out there that can’t first be
opened in here
but you gotta go out and
encounter where you came from
*takes a swig of moonshine and
climbs onto a low-flying seahorse*
who you are is a
place beyond understanding and
that’s where wisdom is born and
you’ll never find it in any book

remember, he says as that heart-shaped sword
leaps out of his hand and pierces the sky
like an iron balloon, in order to become yourself
you’ve got to stop measuring yourself according to
standards your heart’s already rejected
*swoops down to a grotto and
winks at a sweet-talking mermaid*
every fact is only one shade of the truth
and it’s your responsibility to be a
feeling and a thinking person too
never let the facts get in the way of
the truths your soul knows directly
miracles only
happen if you let them

and i looked down from that
dark magic surfboard and
witnessed a scene i
never thought i’d see, a
great pirate’s castle floating
on an island in the shape of a key

11 thoughts on “Pirate’s Den

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