Boat of Presence

An original poem by David Spurvey, MBSR participant (Tokyo, Fall 2015)


Boat of Presence

We have no rightful claim

to perfect love, or happiness

or even freedom from suffering.


Our little creature souls cry out,

repeatedly and from very young;

how could we not listen, that was how

our humanness was born.


So we spend our lives

running from distress, or the threat

of distress, or the fear of the threat

and end up spinning in ruminations

becoming trapped in the web we’ve spun,


When the medicine we really need

is right here, in the perpetually returning

moment… like a suddenly smiling face

breathtaking in its unrehearsed beauty.


So sit down, lighten your burden,

settle down alongside me.

ride the rhythms of your breath

in this little boat of now,

gently rocking in the buoyancy of presence:

this is our rightful claim,

and this, and this.


© 2016 David Spurvey