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Floating Islands

Floating Islands
December 31, 2008
Robert A. Sloan

We are floating islands
rooted in matted reeds
in the detritus of our former years
the rotting remains
of what needed to die

We are floating islands
in a cultural sea
foreigners to the world
the great world
the wide world so round

We are floating islands
adrift on the currents of a river
that is the momentum of the past
the hated past, river of blood
river of injustice

We are floating islands
roots in unstable water
salt marsh between the bitter sea
of unknown future
and the flood of tears behind

We are floating islands
alive with green hope
deepening in the shoals
between a past cut off by choice
and a future we must create.


"Floating Islands" Copyright © December 31, 2008 by Robert Adrian Sloan, all rights reserved.


I don't often write poetry any more. This came to me sitting here on New Year's Eve looking at the past and the ways of life that I rejected as evil -- ways that crumbled, so many of them, when time passed. My worldview is 21st century. My time is now.

I decided to share it because poetry in America in the 21st century isn't commercial writing. It isn't something I'll write an entire book of and expect people to purchase, that still isn't part of this culture. But it needed to be said and so I share it. Contact me for permission if you want to post it online or print it or recite it somewhere -- you will probably get it unless you're asking for money for it, but I need to know and need credits to be in full.

I don't know why that popped out anyway. I'm not a poet, haven't been for a long long time. It's just something that had to be said in that way and wasn't just about me. Wasn't a story in itself. Only a poem, like an artwork, to be what it is.

I know what it means to me, but like art you'll probably find your own meaning in it. Same thing is true of stories really, but at least with those we can agree on the plot and who the characters are. I even broke my own cardinal rule against "we statements" but I am hoping to include "you and me, whoever empathizes with this poem."

If you don't, or don't like it, then don't be part of that We, go be who you are, to me "we" is not universal. Some people are not floating islands. Some people do have roots that run deep and continuity, connections with parents and grandparents that form a big part of who they are.

I have trouble understanding that and know how many floating islands are out there, life being what it is and Western culture not being one.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
I like it. It has a lot of meaning to me, especially with all the changes going on in my life now. With your permission, I'd like to print it and tape it to my wall above my computer. :-)
Jan. 1st, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
Sure you can. Thanks! I'm glad it moved you. It's a lot broader than the specifics of what I'm working through and I'm glad it came out right.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


2013 Nano Winner
Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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