Be Not Discouraged

While on a cruise ship (I just went cruising in the Caribbean this past week), I sat on deck and wrote a quick poem. 
Sitting on a pool deck, Several stories above the sea. Sailing is different now. 

This isn’t the Union of Merchant Sailors, Nor pirates who plunder or rape, Or months’ endless without respite. 

A sea cruise, a pleasure cruise; Not the journey of discovery. Not what Poseidon had in mind. 

The world has gotten smaller, The seas friendlier than before. Sailing for enjoyment, not to explore. 

We long for the bygone days Yet refuse to relinquish comforts. Instead we gnash and grind our teeth.

When we see the birds overhead (I pay much more attention now) We don’t know their thoughts or mind. 

Still we long for their freedom. We cry for wings to carry us Away from the here, the common place. 

We sail, eat, drink, to escape. We use wings not for freedom But to tie us to places.

To work, to family, to bonds. In this we are all alike. We shrunk the world

Through exploration, discovery. Through innovation and technology. Yet we feel smaller,

More insignificant than ever. Given the choice over and over We choose, we prefer, safety. 

We refuse to spread our wings For Icarus, in flight, went too close. Not us, we communally think. 

Inhale. exhale. In rhythm with all. Safety, rather than try. Or fail. For failure is certain death. 

At least that’s what we’re told. Taught from an early age Failure is not allowed. 

I’m sitting on a floating resort In the middle of the Caribbean Because someone imagined it. 

Even though countless ships, Other vessels, both mechanical, or human Lie on the bottom of this sea. 

Still, we sail, knowing its safety Because someone was willing to fail, To attempt over and over again. 

What they should teach: Be not discouraged. Life will break you, beat you down. But be not discouraged. 

Your steps will falter, And you will lose your way. Be not discouraged. 

You may be abandoned, From time to time feel unloved. Be not discouraged. 

You may lose hope, In yourself, or in humanity. But be not discouraged. 


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