Rowing the Bay of the Mind

4 October 2020

By Philip Kuepper

The point of my pen
whitecaps, with words,
the bay of this page.
They break against the margins.
I row my boat of thought among them,
whitecaps cutting, at times,
sharp as stropped knives.
At other times, they froth,
soft as foam oozing
between fingers.

The boat of my thoughts is built
to withstand whatever seas
come at it.  How could it not.
I know the shoals of opinion lie
hidden just beneath the oft
deceiving surface.  (It is the depths
that remind me keep in mind
the eye cannot see itself;
the knife cannot cut itself.
Yet, I ask, can the flame burn itself?
Can the rower unrow what has been rowed?)

I am alert to the shores of emotions
being sharp-edged.  They are as apt
to rip open my hull, as not.
I am cautious about who I
take on board.  An alter ego
is the extent of my crew,
he and I enough to make smooth
the course, however rough
the seas, the point my pen making being,
words can be
a bellwether,
or prove disaster.

(22 July 2020)

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