The Skiff. Poem. Joe Ruggier



My skiff – with which no ships compare –

has weathered storms of Ocean:

in blackest night the beacon’s flare,

in steep commotion,


is but the one, consoling Sense,

the verse that shakes my Heart;

for Food the Ocean’s Providence

beneath the curb of Art!


Thou reddening Glow! Thou blood-red Core

upon the Wild neglected,

that ghastly Shadows casts ashore

by Time collected –


within the Flame upon the Wick

I dream that I behold

my Genius dance, my Fortune click

with cards of Gold!


Hail, holy Fire! through whate’er

perilous Seas – the Raft –

oh Thou! Thou burnest everywhere,

but not as daft


as Thou art faithful what Thou wilt!

I love the drift and sound:

Thou reachest but to Castles built

on solid Ground!


The Critic thought he haughtily steers

top-heavy, mighty Ships,

but with the Spirit interferes

from holstered hips!


Likewise the pious Rationalist

but clouds the faultless Feeling –

with Reasons fine as fog or mist –

that subtlest Reeling


which in my Heart of Hearts is burning!

Ah but my Life-raft’s light,

and the vast Ocean’s overturning

bury it quite


may never, and only upward bobbing,

throbs like my Adam’s apple,

and Vision brings the Joy of sobbing

and makes me grapple –


where in the Flames She smiles and dances,

her hair blown by the breeze,

where my Beloved counts the chances

and me strip tease!


Copyright © Joe M Ruggier 11th September 2000

portrait of Joe Ruggier executed by Vancouverite visual artist Virginia Quental (born in Brazil)

Joe M. Ruggier was born in Malta in 1956 and has written and published poetry in both Maltese and English.  He currently resides in Richmond, British Columbia, where he manages a small press, Multicultural Books.  Multicultural Books publishes poetry, poetry leaflets, sound recordings, fiction and literary fiction.

Joe Ruggier has sold over 20,000 books, many of them door-to-door, including over 10,000 books he wrote and published himself.  There are over 5,700 copies in print of his book Out of Blue Nothing.  Information on Joe M. Ruggier’s books, cassettes and poetry journal:

Intelligible Mystery (1985)
Out of Blue Nothing (1985) ISBN 0-9694933-0-4
The Voice of the Millions (1988)
In the Suburbs of Europe (1991)
Moods for Lovers (1993 ) Cassette
This Eternal Hubbub (1995)
regrets hopes regards and prayers … (1996)
Lady Vancouver (1997)
A Richer Blessing (1999 ) ISBN 0-9681948-3-4
The Poetry of George Borg Translated from the Maltese by Joe M. Ruggier (2000)
The Eclectic Muse, a poetry journal edited by Joe M. Ruggier

To order any of the above, please write or call first for availability and prices.  Please make checks payable to Joe Ruggier.

Multicultural Books
Suite 307
6311 Gilbert Road
Richmond, B.C., Canada V7C 3V7

Telephone:  (604) 277-3864


The HyperTexts

The Eclectic Muse


Managing Editor
Joe M. Ruggier

Board of Academic Consultants
Professor LeRoy D. Travis
S. Warren Stevenson (Professor Emeritus, UBC)

“There are many mansions in Parnassus!”


The Eclectic Muse has published poets and writers from Canada, Malta, the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere. The Eclectic Muse publishes poetry and prose of various styles, but always reflects the passion of its Managing Editor, the acclaimed poet, essayist and critic Joe M. Ruggier. Mr. Ruggier’s passion is for poetry that sings and moves, for poetry that embraces rather than denies or defies the traditions of English poetry. If you believe as he does–that there is a revival of traditional poetry, and that the world is better place for it–we think you’ll find The Eclectic Muse well worth the price of a subscription.