• New Poem

    We Sail Ourselves

    You may be a yacht or a clipper

    or a catamaran or a little sunfish

    Whatever you are, you are

          on a voyage

    You are the little captain

          looking out

                at the seas ahead

          at storms or sunny breezes

    Sometimes we fear our doom

          when great waves hurl out stomachs

          and winds drive us off our course

    and leave us in uncharted waters

    Other times doldrums drag on

          and we can only wait

                and paddle

          if we don’t have a motor


    Yes, it’s a cute and obvious metaphor:

    I am a consciousness

          housed in a vessel

                a little man perched behind my own eyes

          peering out of my skull

    I’ve had my share of storms

          some victories too

    I steer this body that in a strange way

          is me

    Viewed this way I am

          a marvel to myself


    How did I get in here

          not exactly trapped

                but present inside this skull

          enfleshed and embodied?

    How is it I can control this hand

          holding this pen

                writing these lines

          that I am making up?

    Is this hulk of organic matter really me?

    Is this my home?

    I’ve known no other

          but somehow it feels provisional

    It’s the ship I’m sailing for now


    Some philosophers say consciousness is an illusion, a construct of billions of neurons passing electrical signals


    It is no more an illusion

          than a real captain

                sailing a real ship

          a little captain sailing a ship, sailing a ship

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