Poem: Raising Canvas

Raising Canvas

There is a steady wind this morning.
It comes from the west,
making it easy to leave this protected port
and head out to sea.

Ten or twelve knots, not enough to race,
but enough to comfortably leave the shore,
and cruise down the coast. No stress.
No storms in sight.

Just off the jetty a schooner sits,
rocking gently on the waves.
Two people sit on the aft deck. far enough
away that you can not tell what they are doing.

What they are not doing is sailing.
No canvas is being raised, and without it
a boat is simply a small house, moored
in a shifting sea.

You reflect a while, safe on the shore.
Then stand up. Your visit here is done.
It is time to go home
and raise your own sails.

About this poem

“Nothing changes until something changes.” One of my favorite quotes.

The picture was taken at Cape Cod. I take a picture of that particular sailboat every time it goes. It is always moored in the same spot. I’ve never seen it sail. But I imagine it often.

Sailboats don’t use canvas sails any more. Too heavy. But I like the image.


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