Dead Reckoning

On a clear day, lookouts aloft
could see farther than those
on deck. This had nothing to do
with heightened visual acuity.

Ascent does not sharpen the eye.
Sailing from the sight of land, Jason
would have seen the beach disappear
before the distant mountain peak.

Navigators clever enough to read
a compass and devise a chart
should have thought tangentially
and doubted that earth was flat.


Your course seems straight, but when
a faraway rock rises like the sun
and defines the horizon, wonder
emerges. Approach the rock,

and the horizon moves on.
Is this curvature infinite?
Does the horizon exemplify
the unattainable – the eternal,

perfect love, or zero absolute?
Courage, my friend. Whether sailing to
Byzantium or Avalon, Iona or Finisterre,
have no fear of going over the edge.