We sit, side by side, in the Lady of the lake
As she steams her way across the waters
Unruffled by the brisk breeze
That springs up whenever clouds cover the sun.
Our position is sheltered, and the roll of the boat is calming
So that a deep tranquility pervades our state of mind
Leaving us content as we let the past and future
Merge into the ever burgeoning present.
Minds adrift, senses relaxed and succumbed to passivity
With the unaccustomed hills around us,
And the sloping sky lines above the dense woods
Clustering at the water’s edge.
We are close but wordless in our mutual contentment,
Twin souls who have walked the World together,
Paced it, side by side, across many foreign lands;
Who can tell us anything about ourselves?
We can only live life in the knowledge
That its purpose will forever be concealed from us.
We live lives that test both the edge
Of the possible and the frontier of improvidence
So that, as we try to describe what we think
It is already slipping away to demonstrate
Another aspect of itself.
Because history is not a fixed thing,
It is more variable than the future ever can be
Until, that is, it becomes the changeable past.
The uncovered sun is now warm on us
Having cleared the shadows with a sweeping gesture
Across the land-locked water and encircling hills,
So that the small steamer butts her way
Into a silver, speckled galaxy of rippling light
And away on the bankside can be seen
A cornucopia of wild flowers.

July 1998