That year the boats were gathered
by the quays,
the boatmen mended nets or talked
and had no interest
in our expectations

the waters were calm
but there would be no ferry
the verbs were ready
but there would be no sentence for them to complete.

I was learning a lesson in waiting,
a Zen example of detachment
though I was not detached
for I wanted to know
if the landscape was fair
and if the self was still alive
to all the possibilities of water and islands

beauty was a riddle
and a burden
the blessing lay in being faithful to it
as it showed itself to be in the sunlight
of Venice and Greece

and nothing has changed since then
nothing has altered beyond the question it poses
and the answer it hints at

It will always be so
I will always be on those quays
looking for a boatman
to ferry me to the islands

the question will remain
the burden and the blessing also
and in that will be the justice of the self.

Turbulence and calm of the world
in the twilight of its day.
This is the place of trial and celebration

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