Sail, and for my sake never look back, said the looking land. Sails drank the wind and white as milk he sped into the drinking dark. The sun shipwrecked west on a pearl and the moon swam out of its hulk, funnels and mast went by in a whirl.
Goodbye to the man on the sea-legged deck, To the gold gut that sings on his reel, to the bait that stalked out of the sack, For we saw him throw to the swift flood a girl alive with his hooks through her lips. All the fishes were rayed in blood, said the dwindling ships.
And nothing shone on the water’s face But the oil and bubble of the moon. Plunging and piercing in his course, the lured fish under the foam, Witnessed with a kiss.
From “Ballad of the Long” by Dylan Thomas (extract)