It moves slowly, has no language
stronger than ours, so it waits.
Thoughts fill its mind
it allows them in
and ponders their significance,
weighs every utterance,
weighs each idea as if it
were heavy, had the whole
history of thought,
the toils of its ancestors
behind it.

it comes and allows
a body of water to carry
itself and its children,
balanced inside, a cargo
of hope, settled together, drifting
slowly on the weight of water,
buoyed by extreme anxiety,
for the things it brings. No more
than we know already, or news
that we do not already fear;
its purpose is the one we have hidden
inside ourselves, as if on a mission
of rediscovery, buried inside
the being, which purpose
brings over the horizon,
laden with the old, and new.

Odysseus floated, on a raft
of his making, on turbulent seas,
with no less intention. Explorers
of worlds headed off to horizons
they were less sure they could reach.
In us is buried a degree of optimism,
that with direction
we will be rescued
by bright light or a friendly god
in our moment of need.

We know this is a futile hope,
or fashionable heresy, but in the day
when humanity loved itself
we always believed. Reason tuned
over long years told us
the likely story: that persistence
in our own shape, with judgement,
bolstered by the stories of heroes,
prophets, and a committee of warriors
might bring us home.

There is no hope, and
we can only blunder on
to the discovery of which we are
so fearful. That is why I summoned it
over the waves and the frosted sea
to come, and bring its reasoning,
and above all imagination, beacon
that lifts us to gods
real or imagined, or takes
the mask off, illusion to conquer,
while the slow beast rails
and readies its thoughts, having
accepted the invitation.