The Boatman Has Grown Thin


The Boatman
has grown thin
He has shaved his head and beard,
limbs are very slight.
And he is wearing rolled up pants
a kin to Gandhi.
He plays his ancient
Oar and mandolin
With an even greater passion
Seen only
In his eyes and
Quickly nimble fingers.
As he plays an eastern tune
by a placid river shore.
The journeys seem
Fewer now.
He doesn’t sing,
Yet his gentle smile is there.
He stops to rest,
puts his strumming hand on heart,
Thankful for another
on one side of the river;
A benign lump
in his throat.

By The River Shore at Night


By the River Shore At Night

The full moon was pillowed
In the glow of cloud
Iluminating the river shore,
as Orpheus plucked
his heavenly resounding string.
The boatman
had given up his rowing
And taken up the sale of books,
and other things.

So Sidhartha
from darkness
from the shelter of the many trees,
to take up the boatman’s mantel
first asking for a balaclava
to sheild him from remembrance,
from the cold
and the familiar,
To take up the oar, the boat,
their travels,
back and forth.

“My country is not so cold”
he said
“and I’m not used to chill.”

“In the countries where I’ve lived
the owners of the lands
are wealthy
and the people suffer still.”
So I’ve come here to the shore
to ferry,
to forget
troubles and desire,
to listen to the music of the waters
and to heal,
repeat and mirror
the placid rivers aid,

To put my faith in the One,
once again
To strum the water
with new found ancient oar,
To ferry the disenchanted,
the broken hearted,
the heroes,
the lost and the forlorn,
Some wrapped in white
linen sheet,
Some on bed of flowers,
Some on wooden barge
lit by single flames,
Some reduced to bare
And pristine bone,
to the golden islands,
or to the other shores.