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The Long Voyage

Poem by Terry

The journey always seems too far,
Across uncertain bays,
With strangers whose faces are hidden,
The sea inseparable from the sky.
We hear but cannot see the circling birds.

In the dark times,
When the best forget how to hope,
And fade away from us
Like galaxies, faster than light can return,
How will we remember?

We must learn to like ourselves.
Without this we are brittle,
exposed as we cross the open ground,
forced into futile activity.
We must like ourselves enough to remember everything.

We must like ourselves
especially when we fail, abandoning dreams of rescue.
The cavalry was massacred,
the boat sank, the sentry was a traitor.
We must know we did the best we could.

We must like ourselves
when we lie down drunk, unloved and alone,
must know our divinity
is even then glowing like wild isotopes.
We must accept our darkness as well as our light.

Those to come will marvel at our voyage
As they harvest a world where madness
Is banished, because understood.
'They learned to like themselves, and so they survived
those bitter storms, the darkest parts of the voyage.'