Friday, June 22, 2012

Sailors in Graduation Boats

June 21, 2012 was graduation day for the seniors, including my son Ryan Michael Ridley, at Newport Harbor High, home of the Sailors in Newport Beach, CA. Only in Newport Beach can you have a bagpiper, my favorite Keven Weed lead the faculty to the dais. Watching over 300 pairs of young men and women clad in blue marching to Pomp and Circumstance evoked this poem on the spot. Wandering through the graduates in search of my son gave me a clear sense that although we have problems, this nation is not done yet, today or in the foreseeable or long distance future. This kids we like sled dogs fired up beyond belief ready to achieve their dreams.


The longest day of the year when hopes should overcome all nightly fears
Four years of struggle of projects, tests or homework now time for dreams to adhere
On a football field, stands filled with a faculty first in tow
Led by a bagpiper with notes to make all spirits grow
A thin blue line of two by twos marching across a field.
Leaning forward, eager, dreams to pursue never to yield.
Other sailors have gone to the sea to explore or seek the ocean’s wealth
Or haul cargo or make war in the open or in stealth
These Sailors are of a different cloth, their ocean is the sea of dreams
Even though today the winds of chaos blow not gently astern but in full force abeam
The winds may be howling and many will seek the safety of a college port
Knowing four years from now the chaotic forces will subside or abort
No matter the force, this class of Sailors will not blink
Four years and all of you know how to think
Watching blue columns of two marching through flags rippling in the breeze
One is left with a sense of relief, a sense of welcome ease
Better yet the names read show the melting pot is still warm
One people united to escape from foreign harm.
Tassels turned, caps launched together into the sky
The dreams of a generation getting ready to fly
Your parents and friends salute
May your dreams take lasting root
Millions like you graduated on this day
Marching to the Pomp and Circumstances sway
But Sailors are special; they are unique and are blessed
For only they can traverse the seas of dreams and not by the confines of land find arrest.

© June 21, 2012 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet