The Risk of Pleasure

29 April 2023

By Philip Kuepper

We broke ground on water.
The bow acted as spade
as it cleaved the bay,
though where the cleaving
filled-in immediately, again.
We were laying the foundation
for a voyage that would build
as we sailed.
Our mindset we kept fluid.
We would use as tools
motor, sails, oars,
depending on how we found
the lay of the water.
We had options, impossible on land.
Land we found bound like prose.
Water was poetry.
Out here we could let go,
take off on flights of fancy,
when the notion struck us,
and need not stick to narrative.
The wind allowed as much.
This is when we could
perchance dance the boat,
whichever way the wind came at us.
We could reach. We could
broad reach, close reach,
tack, jibe, run.
We could close haul,
as long as we followed
the wind’s lead,
that, at times, is not a tolerant partner,
at which times, then, oh, the hell with it,
and, instead, dance with the motor.
it requires deft footwork to dance with wind on water,
to dance with the elements.
The dance floor is liquid.
And for such a floor to act as our foundation,
the floor we depend on to hold us?
That is a risk a voyage takes.

(19 April 2023)

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