Houseboats

Houseboats

In yesterday’s paper
there was a story
about people who live
in houses
that float

on a hidden creek;
a tiny inlet
of the great
grey-green
murky
San Francisco Bay…

protected from
the mighty current
that might otherwise
push them out to sea;

firmly anchored and
securely moored,
they dwell in
serene confidence;

racing sloops,
passenger liners,
passing freighters,
luxury yachts

what ’ere may sail
past the shore,
nothing – large or small —
will rock their boats.

They’ve found
a safe and snug harbor
in the middle of
the urban jungle.

It’s hard not to envy
their seemingly simple,
uncomplicated,
lives.

But there is a limit,
established by practicality
and enforced
by the laws of physics.

No matter who you are,
however rich (or poor)
or influential
or clever —

there’s only so much
your boat can hold;
only so much weight
that it can carry.

Beyond that,
it will sink.
And that
will be that.

That’s a steadfast rule
understood by sailors
throughout the world
and in all generations.

Know your limits,
set your priorities,
don’t go overboard
amassing stuff.

Like those
lucky ducks
floating happily
in their quayside homes

we, too, are constrained
by the times
and tides
of the sea of life.

Wise choices
can keep us afloat;
bad ones may leave us
knee-deep in sludge.

Deborah Beach Giordano
© February 1, 2010
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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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