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Odilon Redon Yellow Sail, Final Journey, Soul Guardians

May you and your loved ones, near and far, have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

blessing the boats

(at St. Mary’s)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

— From Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000.

The Dead


The dead are always looking down on us, they say.
while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich,
they are looking down through the glass bottom boats of heaven
as they row themselves slowly through eternity.
They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,
and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,
drugged perhaps by the hum of a long afternoon,
they think we are looking back at them,
which makes them lift their oars and fall silent
and wait, like parents, for us to close our eyes.
— From Sailing Alone Around the Room. (Random House September 17th 2002)

Art by Odilon Redon, “Final Journey, Soul Guardians”