Monday, December 12, 2005

Love launches ships

love launches ships,
little boats float down the river
bobbling around the bend
to disappear,
love launches them and
doesn't look back,
they go on to things unseen
to dance in the larger music
of the big wetness of the world,
dance in the rain,
dance in the mists,
dance in the surf,
holding on to a paper boat only crumples it,
there in the darkness of your pocket,
wears the corners,
makes it dingy
with your thumbprints

set out your little boat alive,
precarious and thinly made,
set it down quickly
and look away
if you must
throw it out to the river of the world
and watch now how the low branches dance in the breeze


Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

throw it out to the river of the world

I love this line. It is not only about love, but everything else that must be wrestled with and finally relinquished.

12/12/2005 9:14 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

This is just wonderful. Don't know when I've found anything more moving and to the point. And so lightly, gently, done, as ever.

12/12/2005 9:18 AM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

luscious writing... i love this piece! there must be something in the air today... you, frankie and i each wrote about the mist and things dancing... ...

12/12/2005 9:24 AM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

I seized on the same line R.D.did. It seems to encapsulate the freedom and sense of joy this poem creates.

12/12/2005 9:42 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

So much of your poetry is infused with joy, Moose. This poem is too, but there is also an understanding of how much courage it takes sometimes to really live.

12/12/2005 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But for myself, but for my soul, dear soul,
let me build a little ship with oars and food
and little dishes, and all accoutrements ready ..."

D. H. Lawrence.

12/12/2005 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry! I forgot my new lack of status. I should have signed the above. Ken

12/12/2005 2:01 PM  
Blogger mermaid said...

Taking chances. Weathering the storm. Enjoying the calm. May all little boats launch themselves with your blessings.

12/12/2005 3:06 PM  
Blogger zhoen said...

The river is wide, I cannot get o'er. Neither have I the wings to fly.
Won't someone find, me a little boat, to carry o'er my true love and I?

12/12/2005 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A MIRACLE!!!!! Wow! This IS a poet! I found a bluebird, singing!

12/12/2005 6:06 PM  
Blogger T L Reynolds said...

It's interesting that the paper boat is introduced right after your details about the "wetness of the world". I get a cautious sense within this.

12/13/2005 5:35 AM  
Blogger Frankie said...

SO beautiful. I love the last two lines especially and the idea of dancing in the larger music of the big wetness of the world. This is truly amazing.

12/13/2005 9:04 AM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

As we grow we realise not all of our boats will float and how many things may break them. A gentle parralell, excuse spelling I can't very well

12/13/2005 10:41 AM  
Blogger MB said...

rexroth's daughter, you are right, this is about many things. I often find, while writing, that my thoughts course on like the interwined currents of a river -- thinking of several things that are different but going in the same direction. Of course, the reader could "insert" their own subject matter, too!

Jean, thank you. I'm pleased and honored that it moved you.

snowsparkle, thank you for your comment and for the links. I'm glad you found this meaningful.

12/13/2005 1:06 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Patry, it's interesting to me that you read this poem as joyful. The joy is definitely there, but for me, there was a lot of hesitation and fear intertwined, carried into joy through determination.

Mary, perhaps that's the courage you identify. I was thinking about several things, including parenting and posting poems, when I wrote this!

12/13/2005 1:08 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Even before I read the comments, which will cast another effervescence over your poem, I am particularly enamoured (oh, love isn't it) of the way love sparks, initiates, creates, and then lets go, let's the little rafts make their way... something about no expectations. Which is surely the best way of all to love. Though the little boats can seem very fragile, even if dancing "in the larger music/of the big wetness of the world"...

Now let me put this comment box over there, on the screen, and read the conversations in the comments.

Where it is as if I am overhearing the conversations of angels...

Exquisite. xo

12/13/2005 1:46 PM  
Blogger MB said...

"new lack of status" — ha! Your status hasn't budged in my mind.
I am not familiar with this quote from DHLawrence — what's it from?

Mermaid, you've elaborated on the metaphor beautifully. As you and I know, it can be a stormy world out there for wee boats, or the brightest calm.

there is a ship that sails the sea, sails as deep as deep can be,
but not as deep as the love I'm in, I know not if I sink or swim.
:-) I love that one.

Anonymous, thank you for visiting. I'm pleased you enjoyed yourself!

TLReynolds, you nailed my hesitation and caution, yes. Convincing myself, really.

Frankie, I can see how, as a lover of nature, you would love those lines. I do, too.

Sue, welcome! I'm pleased you stopped by. There are indeed many perils for our delicate boats. That's the balance point I struggle with — when to protect, try to control, and when to let go. I have a child who writes magnificently and can't spell well, so I know that "rotten spellers" can still bear marvelous gifts. Thank you.

12/13/2005 2:57 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Brenda, it is about no expectations, yes, and about trust. Trust in oneself, in the little boat's sturdiness and navigability, in the wide wet world, and in life and resilience.

12/13/2005 2:59 PM  
Blogger garnet david said...

nice development of the paper idea, how it gets worn with too much use.

the last line subtley sets up possible dangers.

12/13/2005 7:59 PM  
Blogger Anna Piutti said...


12/14/2005 10:36 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Oh, Garnet, that's interesting that you read the last line that way.

Anna, thank you!

12/14/2005 10:58 AM  
Blogger garnet david said...

Well, the key word there is "low". I can see a paper boat getting snagged. That's real life.

12/14/2005 8:05 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Oh, I see what you mean. Yes, that would be real life! One of the things I love about writing is seeing what meaning others give to what I've written. It's one of the reasons I aim for the bare bones of things, to find the common denominator that makes a poem accessible and "wearable" by others - so that they can "put it on" in their own way, make it their own as they read it. And of course that means they find things I didn't necessarily intend, but that work nonetheless - just as you did. Marvelous!

12/14/2005 8:35 PM  
Blogger bigshoulders said...

love your usage of alliteration. very lovely poem... i can't remember how i stumbled here... but i'm glad i did!

thanks for the read,

12/15/2005 7:48 AM  
Blogger MB said...

bigshoulders, welcome! Thank you for pointing out the alliteration. It was entirely unconscious (I had to go back and look for it), but you are right, it's definitely there, along with assonance. Thanks for reading.

12/15/2005 10:48 AM  

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