Being in mid-ocean it’s no good bleating like a ruddy goat;
After all, no one made you get on the ruddy boat.

No good hawing and humming, perhaps I shouldn’t oughta
Have got on. Get off and walk on the ruddy water.

No good trying to think of fresh ‘angles’ or new quirks—
You, dear immortal soullet, started the whole ruddy works.

You don’t like it? Well, who in great fortune’s name said you should?
You didn’t do it for someone else, only for your own ruddy good.

You don’t like this Creation-game—they play it too rough?
But it was you yourself who made the rules so ruddy tough.

Enough! enough! Stay in the ruddy ship, or get out of it,
Even in drowning you’ll find yourself a misfit.

But the best solution would be to make friends with the captain;
He might make you a ruddy good sailor—if you can bear and grin.


Good practical advice from an old salt. The poet is enjoying relaxing into the colloquial. We might think of ourselves as little new ‘soullets’( a Francis invention) but the predicament facing us is an ancient one and is in fact of our own making. The great cosmic drama set out by Baba is presented without any sentimentality or false fuss. Boat life and voyage are not a romantic dream, we are bound to it and the only alternative is diving over the side and drowning and that will only make you a misfit that is not able to belong in the world. We are all caught up in a process, a voyage to a goal, so make friends with the captain. But don’t then expect a smooth passage, his training to make a sailor of you is a matter of grinning and bearing.

After looking at the nature of real poetry in ghazals 11-14 he is now giving us a no-nonsense example. We must be prepared to work for our passage.

Fun to read and also fun to recite.

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