The Susan Constant
Sing the Susan Constant, that carried us to shore
To the great unfolding emptiness of land;
teeming, full, and perfect;
All things crafted then were crafted well;
The land gave forth its fruit;
The people, strange people, noble, lived with and within the land;
They were healthy and few, strong, true;
Never having lain down with dogs;
Never having walked with cattle;
Following after the squawk of chickens;
Not packed in rotten wooden cageworlds;
Or cold stone mounds with waxen light;
And the strange thin icons of a dark strange dying man
called Jew, called Carpenter, called God.
He still hangs, they whisper, as they board the Susan Constant.
To the ends of the earth they’ve teemed;
Despairing, despairing, despairing;
Trust in me, says men in gold,
as their children sick and die–
He goes to the bosom, they say then–
She goes to the bosom, they say then-
Even as they think on how the chair cut up for firewood
has lost all of what it meant to be a chair-
He still bleeds, they whisper, as they board the Susan Constant.
John the Joiner, carpenter like He, built the Susan Constant
Nurtured in his mind’s eye,
And then hewed from wood and water,
Built on land, on the last edge of the westerlands,
To sail beyond the sunset
To sail beyond the sunset,
In the Susan Constant
To new life;
Where life is still young;
and not at the end and extremity of our suffering,
but here, and now, while our patterns undeniably are
Here. Is. Heavy.
Feel not the lightness of being but the heaviness of it now, you real incarnated soul, as you sit and read, whether by the shores of the Tookany, or of the Long Island Sound, or the River Delaware, or anywhere in this New Found Land
Here, not there. To begin again.
The Susan Constant.