Sailing Across the Atlantic on SV Twister | A poem by Luis

a sailboat sailing in the open ocean.

A poem dedicated to new friends who, together, we crossed the Atlantic on Twister, 2022 (3426 NM). With love, By Luis Kong




This old lady travels metal to water with
her sharp keel slicing swells
like a wild horse bucking up and down
in the Atlantic rodeo.
She’s pushing forward the love of motion
and making us grip tightly day and night
as we lean from starboard to port and back.

The bright constellations above shows us
the speed of light
in ways that we can understand.
Orion, Cassiopeia, Sirius, Rigel, Betelgeuse.
We belong in this luminous milky way.
The stars are us. The ocean is our mirror.
We dance wildly in deep blue matter
known only to the soul. The Atlantic.

In this spacious place, we find that
our imagination is a beautiful gift,
ominous, incompressible, unpredictable,
perhaps even joyful in its solitude.

We sail in a little galaxy,
in a marine universe where
two laws of physics dictate
the order of things.
The captain and the first mate.

In the dark void between moons at night,
and the stars that accompany the sunset,
mango colored displays splash and embrace
hurried cumulus and cirrus clouds,
all is as if blazing out of an artist’s palette.
There are azure horizons
behind those rain clouds
and momentary double rainbows
across this watery landscape
where we reveal everything
that’s worth remembering.

The swells of light in the morning
engulf us like a cocoon woven
by silky rays of sun. The full moon slips
into the West to grace other sailors
with what otherwise one cannot see
in the pitch of darkness, ocean dreams.

The evening welcomes a windward calm.
Night time teases a yawn from a sailor’s watch or suddenly, brings a squall,
to wash the invincibility of the ego.
To make you a believer
of the greater power
of water and wind.

Shooting stars pass by through
the dome of night
as if to remind you, how alive
you are among the bioluminescent algae
exploding in the foam churned
by the keel of this centurian ship
whose spirit guides us across continents.
She shows us how time and movement
can stand still when you travel
across a vast ocean,
desolate and beautiful.

There is so much joy when the dorsal fin
of a whale appears to starboard.
It surfaces to breathe deeply,
curve its black, slick back and dive,
deep beyond the light of day.
We are in awe, and cry whale, whale.
Satisfied to see a speck of life
in the curved horizon, we laugh loudly,
in gratitude for all living things.

The gannet, the fisherman of the sea
with its acrobatic flying and fast diving.
The tropicbird, wings spread out to catch
the trade winds and flying by,
somewhat out of place
with its elegant trailing tail feather.
A single squid catapulted by rising currents,
washed on deck in the middle of darkness.

The abundant flying fish wanting to be a bird.
An evolutionary marvel and glider
avidly skims the broad swells to escape
the parting of the water by
Twister’s bow. The gannet swoops
from behind the swells
after these blue winged fish.
It’s hard to know whether adaptation
allowed it to escape predators or
be swiftly eaten by an aireal rocket
diving leeward into the well of a wave.

This ocean crossing gave us a delicate love.
It gave us a sweet song that we will carry with us onward like Twister’s sails on a broad reach.
Our voices will echo into every glowing
sunset and sunrise.
Into the 5,000 meter depths we swam together where we saw sun rays filtering into
a cold world below.
Into the future.
Into places unknown caressed by a salty mist
where we’ll be sharing our stories with children about how the Atlantic changed us.
How she conquered us.
How her vastness grew in our spirit.
How we became friends
and how much this watery universe is
a powerful and intentional cycle of life.

Luis Kong

Luis Kong

Retired and rearing to travel, learn, explore, share about our planet's biodiversity (including ecological systems, cultures and ways to grapple with major issues as humanity closes in on irreversible tipping points). A systems thinker navigating our oceans of knowledge and marveling on the unknown with curiosity and contemplation. I believe that humans mean well and can transcend our own propensity for envy and ill will. Shinrin-yoku, to be in the cocoon of nature, to renew our focus and intentions, to pay attention to our natural surroundings, works for me.

a group of people posing on the deck of a sailboat.
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