and Distressed Jewell:
ALL THAT REMAINS
At times, all that remains
of the graceful, promising ship
in which we once set sail,
onto which we had bravely loaded
and entrusted our adventurous dreams,
provisioned with the sparkling
citrus of hope, the ballast of reason,
is a rotting hulk cast upon some
lonely shore, beached and broken,
darkening with age and petrifying
with desperate abandonment.
We misread the silent stars perhaps,
encountered reefs that were unmapped,
were blown aground with the violence
of the fierce and unexpected hurricane,
the savage force of events and emotions
that whipped the sea to gray-green foam,
the perfect storm against which our ballast
was of little weight or counter-balance.
Here we’re stranded far from home,
even farther from where we thought we’d be,
our hulls splintered, ribs spread wide,
exposing all that we’d possessed.
But there are always treasures
to be gleaned from every shipwreck,
salvaged from the bones of shattered past.
We reclaim what is essential to survival
convey it all inland bit by bit, to an interior
place away from tides and undertows.
We collect from the jetsam what tools we can
to construct a shelter for the present,
to build a boat for some tomorrow –
keep the unbroken planks of wisdom
as foundation for what we can create,
the pegs of persistence with which
to connect the pieces into some new form,
the coiled rope of quiet courage,
the astrolabe and compass of our values,
with which to do our daily reckoning,
the parchment maps on which to mark
the errors of our previous course,
and with fresh insight plot anew
the way to yet dreamed of destinations
beyond the clouded horizon we see now.
We’ll roll the mainsails for a covering,
yet one day watch them unfurl again
filled with the brisk winds of bright new hope.
And when we go at last from here,
we’ll take with us a different treasure
than the gold we’d brought aboard at first -
new jewels of faith and fortitude,
the valued currency of courage.
We’ll leave behind not some worthless hulk
but a story written on that distant shore
preserved as an art and an architecture,
perfectly fitted into the landscape now
where sand and time will make of it
a home not just for gulls and memories,
but for the record of our redemption.
© Lianne Schneider July 2011
Image copyright - MCN: CJRGY-4GNA4-4L16D