LRJF Poet Michael Howard Wins Prestigious Award

The Florida Writers Association has announced that Michael Howard has won a prestigious Royal Palm Literary Award. Michael’s poem, My Dhow, was given the Bronze award for poetry. This annual competition received 577 submissions this year. Congratulations Michael on your achievement!

My Dhow by Michael Howard

I will take you home, somehow

My Dhow,

And sail you along my genteel coast,

As rare a sight could be indeed,

Bumping, shouldering against The Stream.

I will walk your salt cured decks

Where so many knelt in prayer.

Sand and caulk your weathered planks

And clean the Asian borers

From your ancient hull. 

My Dhow, who centuries past

Scoured the coast of Zanzibar,

Will now ply our Golden Isles,

Our Treasure Coast,

Where sunken galleons look up 

From watery graves in envy.

What shall I carry below

In your ample holds,

Once, heavy laden with dates, fish 

And slaves? You labored with grace, 

Slid with silent ease past the Shat al-Arab,

Lateen sails astrain, friend and foe astride.

Together, we’ll trade your Persian Gulf for ours,

Our nor’easter for your monsoon.

And your wind will be mine, mine yours, freely blown,

Your waters, mine, and mine yours.

Salt, dry on your decks, the same

On your tongue and mine.

We will sail the same night skies,

Measure the same stars,

Lift together the same sun and moon.

And though neither of us have yet seen

The Southern Cross.

We will find it together, somehow

My Dhow.  

© Michael R. Howard – May 2021 

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