Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Poem #12-2011: The Rudder and the Rock

The Rudder and the Rock
   for Crystal

       He who will not answer to the rudder
           will answer to the rock.
              -Cornish proverb

I am not completely sure
if you are my rudder
or my rock

until I wrote these words
I had not made the connection
between this
        a favorite inscription
        (on the Forum building in Harrisburg)
and your (thankfully)
lasting admiralty over my soul

A sailor might disagree
with my conclusions

But I think you are
sometimes one
sometimes a little of both
               and sometimes neither as fits the weather

I accept your steerage—
what little is possible with a nearly scuppered old craft like me

and I do fear the rock in you
that it might crush me
or keep me lashed tight to pier
        and so be ravaged by some pending gale
or worse:      that I might not keep its steady anchor

have gone on to new commissions
but I’m hoping you’ll
stay on for the whole voyage (even though I am a
     1955 wooden-hulled inboard –
     maintenance required)

Between us we know
both rudder and rock
sufficient to weather
each looming storm
every sun-drenched span

This poem contributed to dVersePoets Open Link Night.
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