Thursday, August 16, 2007

Staying Afloat

Crossing water in an open boat
trusting to canvas, wood, hemp and tar
it's harder sinking than staying afloat.

All your lessons were learned by rote
and nothing you know has come very far--
say, across water in an open boat--

tried old truisms, speeches by quote.
So you go belly-up at the bar
sinking rather than staying afloat

for boredom takes you by the throat
and empties you like a drinking jar
drained of water in an open boat.

Listening for a wind-blown note
plucked from the waves as from a guitar
the wise may sink where fools float.

It's not the ocean. It's just a moat
that separates earth from the stars.
You can cross that water in an open boat
sinking the same as staying afloat.

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