Poem: Great Boat

We live in the hold of a great boat
moving through the stars

There are no windows in this boat
and it is all window

The rudder’s held fast by a
force we can’t imagine

The bow’s pointed to a
place we’ll never know

The high sea and the high air
we breathe are all the same

It is night and navigation is by
celestial lights

There’s nothing of earth on this
boat but a few medicinal plants

It may be Noah’s Ark with its
genetic doubles

Can you feel it gently rocking?
It’s never still

Out the window that is not a window
are the woods the unearthly woods

The deep darkness of the woods
is the deep darkness of the heavens

Our hearts are solar flares
born in the deep darkness

It is not silent here
and the waves are song

A face where the moon should be
looks down and smiles

The whole cosmological realm
is like this smile

The boat is moving in all directions
and goes nowhere

Everyone we will ever love
is on this boat

Where have you heard of this boat before
if not in your heart?

It never lands because
there’s never land in sight

God’s motions are its motions
and His will its way

Finally we can say
it’s all a matter of starlight

Homelessness is its home
and its watery shelter

The Captain never sleeps
in His Divine Absence

If His Presence were any more Present
it would shatter us

The window that we look out
is the window that we see

What we see is the
window we look through to see it

It’s not ours
but God’s alone

Who owns it

8/4/2009 (from Stretched Out on Amethysts, in progress)

About danielabdalhayymoore

Poet, artist, collagist, publisher, hoping to save a little bit of the world through ecstatic utterance... ordered in balanced lines and unpremeditated images...
This entry was posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY, ISLAM/SUFISM, POEMS. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Poem: Great Boat

  1. bedtimeforbonzo says:

    A very moving, very spiritual poem.

    Made me feel like I was on The Boat.

    Daniel: I’ve made it to page 2 of Books and Manuscripts on your website — relate to some poems more than others, of course. Especially like Tale of the Lone Man.

    Your friend in Delaware.


  2. Very kind words, thanks. Glad you’re investigating the “works,” on the web. Let me know any other thoughts or discoveries…

    Which “friend,” and have we met? Hope so…



  3. bedtimeforbonzo says:

    Daniel: I wish I had more time for poetry, and reflection, but my day job keeps me busy and it’s as much as a night job as it is day — that’s how we met. I work for the Porter Auto Group in Delaware.

    It’s Tony, your son’s salesman. I go by “bedtimeforbonzo” on the web — it’s a long story.

    This has been a very difficult summer and very difficult 18 months in terms of trying to make ends meet in the Great Recession. The stress and strain never ends.

    Still, I had been a fool. I began to take my beautiful, tolerant, wonderful wife for granted when all that was mostly needed was communication.

    It wasn’t until I read an excellent piece in this past Sunday’s New York Times that I realized I was going through a midlife crisis. In the Style section’s “Modern Love” essay, a wife detailed how it was living and putting up with her husband during such a period and I realized how my wife deserves the man she married five years ago.

    In the movies, men have a midlife crisis with a red Corvette and a sexy young blonde. In my life, it featured much more inner turmoil, worry, withdrawing and fighting demons. “The Boat” was rocking.

    Almost 47, I am still wondering why so many things — foremost among them, simply providing for my family — are so much harder than they have ever been.

    The economy collapsed and so, too, did my right ankle. I don’t heal as fast as I once did. Nothing does. The mind grows weaker, yet stronger.

    Nature has kept me sane. This spring and summer, birds — no less than three sets — have been nesting in our backyard. They bring sweet music and babies.

    I love these birds. Today, running late for work, with the windows finally open and letting in fresh air, I took time to watch them frolicking about, eating the seeds I had put out. I called Tiger, my cat since 1996, and told her that “the birdies were in her backyard.” She yelped and watched from my desk, stretching herself toward the window sill, eyes wide-open.

    To me, the birds — Cardinals, finches, wrens, doves, crows — represent life. And happiness. And time. And trust.

    To me, the birds are poetry.


  4. Bravo, those angelic birds, and God bless and heal…


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