A Poem for the Week

To celebrate National Poetry Month, we’ve created Poet Tree postcards to share the goodness of poetry with others –who doesn’t love to get some real mail in the real mailbox? All the better if it includes a poem!

Poet Tree postcard
Poet Tree Postcard for National Poetry Month, photo by M. McKinstry

This week’s poem comes from Lucille Clifton (1936-2010), a poet who doesn’t need capitalization or punctuation to make big statements, often about seemingly quotidian events.

blessing the boats postcard.MG_9487 3
A Poem Postcard to Pick from the Poet Tree, photo by M. McKinstry

In this poem, “blessing the boats,” Clifton’s spare, concise language invites readers to move, with the boats, “beyond the face of fear,” to be “certain” even, that the wind “will/ love your back.” Through her appeals to understanding, touch, and sight, she creates movement. The reader may rock gently like the boats, as she comes to the end of the blessing, “may you in your innocence/ sail through this to that.”

blessing the boats

                                   (at St. Mary’s)

may the tide
that is entering even now
the lip of our understanding
carry you out
beyond the face of fear
may you kiss
the wind then turn from it
certain that it will
love your back     may you
open your eyes to water
water waving forever
and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that
sail-rocks, Doug's art
Watching a Sail, line art byDoug Kipperman
The featured image this week is sea lavender blooming in our front yard at the Granada Treehouse Studio…appropriate for “[sailing] through this to that,” I thought. The images within the post I also photographed in our yard and of the Poet Tree. The line art above is my husband’s. Enjoy, and Happy National Poetry Month.
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