jdbphoto, painting by Jesus Lopez Vega
All the solitary seas that he chose to sail
only took him farther, out beyond the pale.
All truths he discovered, he shared to no avail.
When he tried to hit the mark, why did he always fail?
Call him an outsider. Throw him into jail.
Form the boards into a cross. Hammer in each nail.
Set him adrift to flounder with no scoop or pail.
Let him use his own hands if he needs to bail.
Put him on the pillory. Bring out whip and flail.
Bind him up and gag him lest he tells his tale.
Instead of seeing different truths, it’s best you wear a veil.
No telling if you listened, your own truths might just pale.
Fresh new winds are often perceived as a gale.
Manna sent from heaven to others is just hail.
When you confront that other—messiah or white whale,
get your harpoons ready. You must insure they fail.
Truth-tellers speak so softly that when the bigots rail
it may be that you only hear their shout and wail,
but if you set out to find them over that next dale,
the whole world falls silent when you find their trail.
In the night wind’s keening or rattle of the quail
or in the ridges of the road, written there in Braille,
you may find the answer the outcast tried to tell.
Grasp those truths you find yourself and live by them as well.
The prompt today is sail.