“The bow of a ship overcomes the inertia of the medium in which it thrives,
for which it was designed,
for which it has the engines to thrust its load to the destination beneath the stars of God.
The bow of a ship prepares the way for the rest to follow,
prepares the way so effort is reduced,
prepares the way so speed is not sacrificed to the onslaught of the waves.
The bow of a ship accepts the buffeting as a way of life,
accepts ice layers are there to be shattered for the passage,
accepts the winds as obstacles in the building of the waves,
in the surges of the tide,
in the swirling of the mists,
in the safety of the souls at home upon the ship.
The bow of a ship points the way so the bulk must follow,
so the bulk will not fracture to break free,
so the bulk will answer to the leading of the bow,
so the bulk will follow meekly to where the bow intends.
The bow of a ship can guess the coming port of record,
has assumed this stance before,
is familiar with the seesaw of the waves,
is cognizant of the rocks which hide their own agendas,
recognizes the land masses in passing serenely by.
The bow of a ship is loaded with an anchor,
is inclusive of the chain at home within the depths,
is tethered by such when within the confines of a harbour,
is running free before the guidance of the rudder:
when the chain is lifted up to be claimed at home within the hold.
The bow of a ship visits and protests,
buckles and gives way,
is inspected and repaired.
The bow of a ship is painted and named,
is proud and stately in its stature,
is subtle and quietly pleased at the surrounding fuss.
The bow of a ship does not like the splashes of champagne,
does not like the inept who do not help in the breaking of a bottle,
does not like to feel the bouncing of a bottle after attending nervous hands.
The bow of a ship is glad when the fuss is finally over,
when the ship is launched and foreign ports await,
when the engines growl and ropes are loosed:
and creeping movement is observed.
The bow of a ship is dismayed at casual engagements,
does not like poking in to where it is not wanted,
does not like being scraped and bent,
does not like the sound of hammers bent on the removal of the dents,
does not like the crowding of the shipyard where ownership is known to be at risk,
does not like adjusting to a repaint nor to a change of name.
The bow of a ship is not often visited by strangers,
is more at home in the shearing of the waves,
is most secure in the automation of the functions:
as built within thereby to present a timed report.
The bow of a ship can be a pretty sight,
can portray a lack of care.
The bow of a ship can be fastidious in the presentation,
or battle-scarred and tide worn resulting from the length of service: where refits are very scarce.
The bow of a ship does not speak of home,
speaks of the merchant adventurers from times past,
speaks of the growth in size and speed as cargoes have enlarged,
as wages have increased,
as port fees have so threatened,
as fuel intends to confirm:
the difficulty to trade successfully—
in the face of supples requested for bulk delivery.
The bow of a ship has witnessed the presence of harpoons as fired and fired again,
has witnessed the nets and pots as lifted with much care,
has witnessed the intensity of lights focused on the seas for the hooking of the squid,
has witnessed the on-board waste as species are discarded which do not serve the purse of man.
The bow of a ship has attributes similar to those employed of man,
has capabilities not unknown to man,
has activities not strangers to man,
has appearances recognizable by man,
has properties similar to man,
has counting of the waste as furnished by man with a heart to misreport.
The bow of a ship tells a story of dwelling alongside the presence of man,
of transporting and of carrying,
of success and of disaster,
of freedom on the seas and of captivity when tied up in a dock.
The bow of a ship denotes the arrival of the expected,
the arrival of the promised,
the arrival of the loved and laughing,
the arrival of the shattered and imprisoned —
all are known and loved with their imperfections:
in dwelling within the sight and sound of The Living Loving God.”