There is little free`board
in the boat we sail through the night
Reaching over the gunnel we touch the cold
a cold so dark it reflects not a single star’s light
a dark so cold it turns the touching fingers white
Not warm water like the water of the womb
This is the water of death not birth
of parture & not of return

We lifted high our glasses
to make a final toast upon the beach
‘Fair winds & gentle tides’ is what we cried
But bitter the sacred wine that once was sweet
youth’s finest vintage gone vinegar in our sleep
Then we pushed off from the familiar shore
The fire that was once our passion
gone to poison in our veins

How shall we tell suffering?
This turning in`side`out of the soul
where every breath feels like a driven nail
and every drop of perspiration our life’s blood
squeezed like granite from a rock grain by grain
Silently we will sit & sail this endless night
when no word can possibly comfort
when even to touch is pain

“The business of the poet is to show
the sorriness underlying the grandest things
and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things.” ~ Thomas Hardy


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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2 Responses to Suffering

  1. Hardy would give this a standing ovation – superb


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