Uncertain Shores

by Dilip Mohapatra (July 2015)

Looks like I am done.

My chart blown away

and interred in the wake

of my schooner

no wind on my sails

no stars in the sky

compass awry

satellite navigator busted

and echo sounder dead.


With my engines sputtering

to a deathly silence

I prepare to

shore up the breach

to stop the leaks on the sides

while waiting for

the next high tide

but I drift aimlessly

across the coves

and fiords

studded with jagged rocks

to finally run aground.


I lower the

inflatable life boat

and paddle furiously

battling the surf

and beach my craft

on a stretch of silvery sands

and find myself

marooned in

an uninhabited islet

all to myself

sentenced to solitude.


I pick up my backpack

and my machete

and start hacking the thickets

to make my way through

the bushes

not in search of the treasure

that the buccaneers

might have buried

but looking for the shovel

that might have been left behind

to dig my grave

and ensure certainty

on these uncertain shores.



Dilip Mohapatra (b.1950), a decorated Navy Veteran started writing poems since the seventies  His poems have appeared in many literary journals of repute in India and abroad. Some of his poems are included in the World Poetry Yearbook, 2013 along with the works of 211 contemporary poets from 93 countries and few are lined up for its 2014 Edition due in June 2015. A regular contributor to New English Review, he has two poetry collections titled 'A Pinch of Sun & other poems' and 'Different Shades' to his credit, published by Authorspress India. He holds two masters degrees, in Physics and in Management Studies. He lives with his wife in Pune. His website is here.

To comment on this poem, please click here.

To help New English Review continue to publish original and thought provoking poetry such as this, please click here.

If you have enjoyed this poem and want to read more by Dilip Mohapatra, please click here.


Join leaders of the American Middle Eastern community to endorse

Donald J. Trump
for President of the United States

and spend an evening with his foreign policy advisors featuring
Dr. Walid Phares
and other surprise campaign guests.

Monday October 17th

Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20008

cocktails at 6pm - dinner at 7pm
Business casual attire

$150 per person / $1500 per table

Sponsored by the American Mideast Coalition for Trump

Buy Tickets