Dead Water

Between despair and hope, two continents,
   a vast sea lies, blank whiteness on the chart.
   No waves, no cartographer’s fanciful decorations—
a simple nothing, nondescript, immense.
Here I tread water. The taste and smell of salt,
   irreducible facts, offer no explanations
   to map the trackless journeys of the heart:
how I came here, whether I’m at fault.
Navigation is not the answer. Unabsolved,
   a turn to consult the compass is mere self-violence.
Hope is not a problem to be solved.
      When at last I confess I can do no more—
   I wait. Let silence still my soul to silence,
      and dream of wind from off some distant shore.

Fr. Jonathan Kanary

Fr. Jonathan Kanary serves as Assisting Priest for Spiritual Direction at Christ Church Anglican in Waco, Texas. As a member of the Liturgy Task Force for the Anglican Church in North America, he spent many hours working on the Book of Common Prayer 2019. He is also a PhD candidate in English at Baylor University, where he currently teaches Ancient Intellectual Traditions in the Great Texts department and works as a consultant in the Graduate Writing Center.

'Dead Water' have 2 comments

  1. September 8, 2020 @ 3:53 pm Jeanie

    Moving and beautiful! Glad to have found it.


  2. September 15, 2020 @ 8:34 am Cynthia Erlandson

    I really like this. The thoughts are well-expressed, and the creative rhyme scheme and sometimes slightly-offbeat meter work well.


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