Ship of Fools

It seemed certain we were going
down that day, ignoring omens in the
red clouds at dawn and sailing out
instead into uncharted seas.
Starting the cocktails too early
until no one sober was left 

to mind the helm and we held on
for dear life as our faith in keel
and kelson faltered, knowing as we
did the rocks lay somewhere just below
the churning surface of waves
the hidden meaning of things.
We chose to ignore or forget

the dangers, even turning deaf
at the cry of ‘Man the stations!’
No point in going down with
the ship, so tear the albatross off
from around your neck and swim
goddamn it, to shore or island
or jagged reef that will tear
your feet to shreds. At least it is
a place to stand in this constantly
shifting water world of ambiguity.

~

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