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Remembrance Wall

John "Thunder Toes" Smith's Military Branch Logo

John "Thunder Toes" Smith's Picture

John "Thunder Toes" Smith

Hometown,  Military Branch,

Home Country  

January 1, 1900 - December 31, 2017

Crash on crash of the sea,

straining to wreck men; sea-boards, continents,

raging against the world, furious,

stay at last, for against your fury

and your mad fight,

the line of heroes stands, godlike:

 

Akroneos, Oknolos, Elatreus,

helm-of-boat, loosener-of-helm, dweller-by-sea,

Nauteus, sea-man,

Prumneos, stern-of-ship,

Agchilalos, sea-girt,

Elatreus, oar-shaft:

lover-of-the-sea, lover-of-the-sea-ebb,

lover-of-the-swift-sea,

Ponteus, Proreus, Oöos:

Anabesneos, who breaks to anger

as a wave to froth:

Amphiolos, one caught between 

wave-shock and wave-shock:

Eurualos, board sea-wrack,

like Ares, man’s death,

and Naubolidos, best in shape,

of all first in size:

Phaekous, sea’s thunderbolt—

ah, crash on crash of great names—

man-tamer, man’s-help, perfect Laodamos:

and last the sons of great Alkinöos,

Laodamos, Halios, and god-like Clytomeos.

 

Of all nations, of all cities,

of all continents,

she is favoured above the rest,

for she gives men as great as the sea,

to battle against the elements and evil:

greater even than the sea,

they live beyond wrack and death of cities,

and each god-like name spoken

is as a shrine in a godless place.

 

But to name you,

we, reverent, are breathless,

weak with pain and old loss,

and exile and despair—

our hearts break but to speak

your name, Oknaleos—

and may we but call you in the feverish wrack

of our storm-strewn beach, Eretmeos,

our hurt is quiet and our hearts tamed,

as the sea may yet be tamed,

and we vow to float great ships,

named for each hero,

and oar-blades, cut of mountain-trees

as such men might have shaped:

Eretmeos, and the sea is swept,

baffled by the lordly shape,

Akroneos has pines for his ship’s keel;

to love, to mate the sea?

Ah there is Ponteos,

the very deep roar,

hailing you dear—

they clamour to Ponteos,

and to Proëos

leap, swift to kiss, to curl, to creep,

lover to mistress.

 

What wave, what love, what foam,

For Oöos who moves swift as the sea?

Ah stay, my heart, the weight

of lovers, of loneliness

drowns me,

alas that their very names

so press to break my heart

with heart-sick weariness,

what would they be,

the very gods,

rearing their mighty length

beside the unharvested sea?

"Sea-Heroes", written around 1920

- Hilda Doolittle