They Will Sew the Blue Sail

THE LAKE AND THE SKIFF | Peter Streckfus

Tell me again about the lake of the poem.

The little skiff.

In which you were curled, like an infant in its bed.

The dark canopy of sky rattling above.

Standing at your bedside, we recounted our tale to you.

The regularity of our speech prevented the breezes being so discursive.

You looked out through your eyes at us and blinked to show you heard.

We said we’d little time before the city gates shut.

This revealed to you the error in the doctrine that maintains among the

numerous souls within us one is more aflame.

As we paddled away, to speak and rest among our selves, the wind took up

its chorus.

Straightening your body, you said nothing.

Lord Marpa the translator said “Sons, if you do phowa, do it like this,” then

a sphere of five-colored light the size of an egg ascended into the sky from a

crack at the crown of his head.

Then we were left alone like dwellings unconnected.

Search, confused one, around your shores if any parts of you rejoice in


The flight path of a bird in the sky, the channel cut by a fish as it glides, the

void of dreams. How difficult it is to remain one person.