for Chastity Dotson
An Actress and an aircraft carrier –
two concepts Hollywood would understand.
See Hudson, Peck or Garner in command,
with Day, Monroe or Hepburn in the lace.
He humbled, she in control, the carrier
probably in shades of pink. It’s more teasing
than a test of war, with no weapon mightier
than a ring upon a finger.
Today’s Carrier refits in readiness
across the bay, a giant behemoth
of peace riding easy at her chains.
The Carl Vinson – Nimitz Class – and capable
of anything at all. Below her cold-war
decks glow two perpetual reactors
whose sleeping powers lie like cats.
Such great causes she has been about –
undertaker to Bin Laden’s burial at sea;
a rescue centre for disaster; delivering
protection for a world of energy and wealth.
No chance here for a young woman
to bring the navy or a nation to its knees.
But now you never know what anyone
may do, and in our happy hour bar
we meet an actress of our own. Young,
black, a new age pioneer of self-
determination, adventuring a world
of difference and change. She plays for roles
that make no stars, or writes her own.
An actor and an aircraft carrier. And here’s
a nation owning to the lives of both.
Between Seven Ages and the seven seas
both have futures to be made and settled.
My new screenplay has the ship afloat
upon the inner life, fighters overhead
emotions and their fickle flitter, dowsing
fires in bitter hearts and fissioned brains.
Our actress plays the captain of her soul,
rebukes the wind, turns swords and missiles
into pens and pageants for the final reel.
Somewhere a rainbow big enough where this
is not beyond. Sure in this big land
can come the greater good – to be the master
of the human heart, the mistress of the seas.
Witty and pertinent stuff for these interesting times. Your confident grasp and portrayal of contemporary history and culture is engaging. I like the use of the internet links to share the experiences that inspired the poem. PS Gallant of you not to exploit the actor’s forename.