We left the Port of Joy so long ago,
And ebbed so much the while and knew no flow,
But still another strait we headed to.

Whatever we did, wherever we steered
All things led to one place, to that placed veered,
As if forever condemned to be there.

Body wasted, such that life could not last long;
Mind some frayed rope, useful once, when once strong:
Now thoughts directionless and heaped like dung.

The Captain only at the helm on duty,
Sole of discretion, face lined with beauty,
Made more lovely as Tears hove into view.

The Port of Tears: yes, fit site for heroes!
What truth’s in it the Captain, rueful, knows –
Who turns from tears, the gift that God bestows?

We left the Port of Joy and now ahead
Before us lies the passageway of dread
And goodness only guesses where it leads.


James Sale, FRSA is a leading expert on motivation, and the creator and licensor of Motivational Maps worldwide. James has been writing poetry for over 40 years and has seven collections of poems published, including most recently, Inside the Whale, his metaphor for being in hospital and surviving cancer, which afflicted him in 2011. He can be found at www.jamessale.co.uk and contacted at james@motivational maps.com. He is the winner of Second Prize in the Society’s 2015 Competition.

Featured Image: Coastal Scene” by William Bradford

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