Poem by H.D. from her 1916 work Sea Garden

The Helmsman

O be swift--
we have always known you wanted us.

We fled inland with our flocks,
we pastured them in hollows,
cut off from the wind
and the salt track of the marsh.

We worshipped inland--
we stepped past wood-flowers,
we forgot your tang,
we brushed wood-grass.

We wandered from pine-hills
through oak and scrub-oak tangles,
we broke hyssop and bramble,
we caught flower and new bramble-fruit
in our hair: we laughed
as each branch whipped back,
we tore our feet in half buried rocks
and knotted roots and acorn-cups.

We forgot--we worshipped,
we parted green from green,
we sought further thickets,
we dipped our ankles
through leaf-mould and earth,
and wood and wood-bank enchanted us--

and the feel of the clefts in the bark,
and the slope between tree and tree--
and a slender path strung field to field
and wood to wood
and hill to hill
and the forest after it.

We forgot--for a moment
tree-resin, tree-bark,
sweat of a torn branch
were sweet to the taste.

We were enchanted with the fields,
the tufts of coarse grass
in the shorter grass--
we loved all this.

But now, our boat climbs--hesitates--drops--
climbs--hesitates--crawls back--
O be swift--
we have always known you wanted us.

The Helmsman is also a wonderfully cheesy science fiction series written by Bill Baldwin. A loosely-disguised retelling of World War II with some wide divergences, this space opera in the classic sense tells of a galaxy-spanning war between the Galactic Empire of Avalon and The League of Dark Stars. Full of not-so-disguised references to WWII events, participants, and weapons like the Gorn-Hoff 262, the Defiant and Starfury, and BKAEW.

The series seems to stand at the following books:

  1. The Helmsman
  2. Galactic Convoy
  3. The Trophy
  4. The Mercenaries
  5. The Defenders
  6. The Siege
  7. The Defiance
According to his website, as of late 2008 Bill Baldwin is still kicking, still writing, and claims to be nearly done with the eigth Helmsman novel - The Turning Tide.

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