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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