Ships of Fools

"Ships of Fools" is a painting and sonnet by A.VonnHartung, from his series "Cries of Creation", inspired by Pope Francis' encyclical on the environmental crisis "Laudato Si"

Ships of Fools

Ships of Fools is a painting and sonnet from my new series “Cries of Creation”, inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si

Buy a giclee print of this painting


We do not know where fools’ ships go,

for all they tell are lies.

Their Captains have no course nor maps.

They only sail where blows the wind,

and only at their backs.


The captains’ futures are all invested.

In the market they do rely.

No thoughts of destination nor direction,

for on the Big Board they have their eye.


Ni port nor starboard do they veer,

nor course corrections do they dare

while in the current of their winnings.


But, if Mammon-wish tickles their fancy,

quickly will their trading shift.

Or if by chance they be becalmed,

then happily will they daze and drift.


Their crews are drifters all,

 from the sea the captains plucked.

Their losses and misfortunes

are the foolish captains’ luck.


The passengers all are gamblers.

These ships are what they sought.

Cheap one-way tickets

are what they scrambled for and bought.


All good one-time married men,

left their wives behind—

knowing, like some good husbands,

they thought it would be kind.


For on these one-way foolish ships,

ships with no return,

there is no need to bother, ponder, or discern.

Foolish ships are bound to flip,

for black holes they are bound!

It is their way

when gone astray

that fools do double down!


Let us learn again to sail

the oceans with her winds.

And tack, when need be,

so when the wind swings round

we yield, to her lead.


To keep on course, we cannot force

Nature to do our will.

Our destiny is to bend and mend our ways.

The signs are all around us

all the time, numerous as the waves.


It’s only fools who sail on ships

 captained without a course,

ships that sail to nowhere!

Of this I cry BEWARE!



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