Poem: Past the Safe Places

Past the Safe Places

Gentle waves. An early sun.
Protected for now by the sea wall,
the long runner of stone, a barrier
between you and the sea.

You wake. A cup of coffee boiled
on the small gas stove, a relic from the fifties,
not unlike you. It still works, partially functional,
partially quaint.

Writing in the waves is not the easiest thing.
It is hard to stay steady, so your words
are thready and thin, suitable for a wanderer
who has traveled through a storm or few too many,

Words. Your prayers. Your sorting out place.
Part history. Part ministry. Part rant, you write
on the deck of your small boat, alone
with a few changes of clothes and coffee

and this black clad journal.
You have journaled erratically since you were fourteen,
but fervently for the past decade and a half,
Poems and prayers. Lists. Thoughts.

It’s something like a mess. Something like
a safe harbor. A place where you put down your pain,
the betrayals of life, the abandonment,
write them a raw as they are, until

Like this notebook, they become full,
and you sail past the seawall, past the safe places
into the open waters, past horizons
and toss it into the sea, only to begin, again. Tomorrow.

About this poem.

I grew up sailing. I often imagined living on sailboats. The simplicity of it.

I have journaled, just as the poem says.

The rest is imagination.

Tom

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