Dear Wendell Berry, Again …

Dear Wendell,

Well …

I am on a mountain,

far away from my place.

Like a fisherman,

boat captain,

gone out to an unknown

part of the ocean.

I fear the storms and depth –

fear for the crew.

I know water, tradewinds –

storms and fish!

This isn’t my first rodeo!


You told me to tell people you –

were an ordinary man. So …

I do!

I speak of your work, often.

About how you walk the walk

and talk the talk. 

Your work is hard to explain!

Like how the sea-captain laughs quietly

when the river boat deck hands

are nervous, when small waves

breach the bow.

And you laughed with joy,

after I sang to you!

You said, “yep! you can sing!”

That was all I needed to hear!

I was looking at your work boots

so neatly placed next to your rocking


I knew they were used wisely

and could tell they were

taken care of.

My work boots,

are wearing out,

but thank God

for strong hands

and solid ground –


I am thinking

of you!


John Paul



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