The Poem: In Memory of Jim Melrose

David Berson is a true salt of the earth. He continues to be the best scholar depicting stories by the best teachers any writer could have, true life people.

— Beacon Poetry Editor Billy Hands

In Memory of Jim Melrose

by David Berson

Remember the man:
Leather aproned,
Heavily gloved, helmeted,
Bathed in a shower of sparks,
Guiding the welder’s rod.
Joining steel, bronze, aluminum
Evenly
With a bead as smooth as polished stone.
Building, one piece at a time, what others
Drew on blueprints or
On backs of crumpled envelopes.

Remember the man:
In his shop, conducting
Noisy belt driven machines
Big as boulders,
Clutch driven saws, sharpened tooth blades
Fearsome as any shark’s.
Whirring, screaming, screeching,
Moving so quickly they look at rest.

Remember the man:
A master of mechanical advantage.
Pulleys, blocks, tackles. Levitating objects like a magician,
So clever that like Archimedes
— though much more modest —
Could have probably hoisted the earth itself
If only he had a place to stand.

Remember the man:
The sailor, with lightly tillered hand.
Steering. Sails pulling.
Luffing through the crowded anchorage,
Shaving close by bows and sterns,
Winning the entrance into the bay.

Remember the man.
Remember.

David Berson of Greenport holds a 400 ton Merchant Marine Masters License and has been operating sailing and power vessels for decades, including the electric launch “Glory” out of Greenport. He is also a writer and editor for sailing magazines including Ocean Navigator.

The Beacon is accepting poetry submissions at poetry@eastendbeacon.com.

East End Beacon

The East End Beacon is your guide to social and environmental issues, arts & culture on the East End of Long Island.

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