Poem: A Lack of Navigation

A Lack of Navigation

It is a strange thing, brass, half compass, half sextant.
No one in the antique shop knows exactly what it is.
A fascination, surely an instrument of navigation,
it belongs on the deck of wooden ships,
not here in the byways of a small town in a small state.

It has made its own journey, certainly.
Was it stolen, lost, moved?
Did it come here of its own intention,
or is it the debris of a life come undone?
Your mind is full of questions
and there is no one to answer.

You sigh. Its polished brass curves sing to you
and it is a sad song, a mournful song of lostness,
of too much time spent floundering in a sea
far more kind than you deserved, for you survived
as you were cast from wave to wave,
from foreign land to foreign land, and in the end

it was grace that brought you here, not navigation.
Time and currents and wind, conspired to bring you home
when you could not find the way yourself.

About this poem

Life’s been good to me, even when it wasn’t. God’s been good to me, even when I wasn’t. In the past couple of years in particular, I have drifted more than I like. And yet, here I am, at home with myself and healthy again, mind (mostly) and body and spirit (mostly).

Faith will lead us home. Not directly perhaps. But home nonetheless.

Be well. Travel wisely,


PS: I have no idea what the thing in the picture is. But I love it. I should have bought it.


  1. Comforting words for us all. If you remember where the shop is, call them and see if they still have it! – Ellyn Couvillion, Baton Rouge

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