A Rite of Cleansing

Photo: @LadyMargaret_BC.

21 May 2023

By Philip Kuepper

Smoke from the old boat
rose in praise
for having been rowed,
for having given pleasure
in races the river had witnessed.
Round the pyre rowers stand,
and lifted their glasses in salute
to the good boat they had rowed,
that had rowed them to a win.
Races, rowed, fade,
and vanish into time,
into the time all things vanish,
even us, even the memory of us.
In the end, all lies empyred,
and rises in praise for having been,
for having lived to race.
The seasons row one into the other.
The seasons are the first,
and will be the last,
to row through time,
the seasons, the boats we climb into
and row, and row us,
like the old boat, empyred,
the smoke from which rises,
teaching us praise for having
been given the gift to be.

(16 May 2023)

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