You lie bald-headed on a white pillow,

small hands weaving

our tangled world together.

And how your calmness calms us,

as the unseen morphine

slips in.

Your fingers sign a gentle benediction,

and somehow you whisper:

Ithaka’s a great poem.

An ardent affirmation

you have every right to make –

for a fine emotion

has shaped your life, and you too

have paused at markets

to buy sensual perfumes

and rich merchandise: mother of pearl,

coral, amber, ebony,

my spiral shell from Norfolk.

And you have lingered on the quayside

conversing with holy fools,

waiting for the tide to turn.

Pray that the journey is long

full of adventure,

full of discovery.

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