One dark and stormy night this tepid tale
Began and, waking from a dream, it ended.
Unmoored, the uncrewed Fantasy set sail
On twilight seas where day and nighttime blended.
The empty sky complained to no avail
About the disbelief it had suspended.
The tide went out and with it went the boat
Adrift and rudderless, no one commanding.
The fog rolled in and swallowed in its throat
The strangled cry of something dim demanding
To know the reason why the fishes gloat
To see a thing beneath their understanding.
The wind, that vagrant quantity, died down,
And then arose to drive the ship before it.
No Ahab paced the deck to rage and frown.
No fickle fate consented to abhor it:
That nightmare stream in which the dreamers drown;
The mind awaiting waking to restore it.
The whales and dolphins swam along beside.
The albatrosses soared, the gulls they glided.
The barnacles hung on to bum a ride.
The turtles temporized, their time they bided,
Until the seals would cease them to deride;
Till someone, somewhere, sane, this scene decided.
The ocean rudely rolled, the eyes they crossed,
As stomachs down below grew sour and trembled.
The passengers turned pale; their lunch they lost;
And wondered why they ever had assembled
To voyage to the void at such a cost —
And who the ticket-selling fraud resembled.
No Ishmael survived the trip who knows
Why thought reflected off the waves and scattered,
Absorbed into the swirling ebbs and flows
That left the crazy craft careened and battered
Upon Amnesia reef where nothing grows
Except forgetfulness of things that mattered.