Poetry topic idea: lifeboat

Today’s poetry topic idea is lifeboat.  There are a number of ways a poet could write about a lifeboat and a number of ideas pertaining to it.

First, a poet could write directly about a lifeboat.  They could write about being in small boat after a larger one has sunk.  They could look at ideas such as survival, rescue, isolation, hope, despair, and others.

Second, a poet could write about a lifeboat as a metaphor for something that helps them survive in tough times.  This could be something like staying with a relative when they lose their job, or, like now, a person staying in their house because of a virus.

Third, a poet could write about a lifeboat as a metaphor for their present condition.  The person could be in a condition where they are just above some lowest level, and the lifeboat could describe that.  They could view their condition positively or negatively depending on perspective.  An example for this might be a low paying part-time job a person finds after losing their higher paying full-time job.

Fourth, a poet could write about a lifeboat as a metaphor for any temporary place of isolation.  The place could be viewed as a positive retreat or as an escape from something negative.  A positive place might be a person’s room in their house that they go to simply to relax.  An escape form something negative might be a place a person goes to get away from someone who upsets them.

Here is an example poem using the idea of a lifeboat:

out to sea
$200 a week
and a brother’s couch
where is land?

Poem: in a lifeboat

It’s strange.

It’s a bit like being
in a lifeboat.

There you are.

You are with,
who are with.

What you have,
you have.

You wish
you had packed more.

All of a sudden,
things become important.

How many of these are there?
How many of those?

All of sudden
you ration.

All of sudden
you adapt.

All of sudden
things that wouldn’t make you excited

A crate a food floats by.
You cheer.

A box of toilet paper,
and there are tears of joy.

It’s strange,
being in a lifeboat,
waiting for rescue.

But in a way,
that’s sort of what it’s like.

Your house,
floating in the sea of the world,
feels so contained,
so isolated.

you have a radio
and you hear of storms.

It’s a connection,
but not really.

There you are,
kind of alone,
waiting for rescue,
for the megaphone,
from the ship,
saying everything,
is now okay.

It’s strange,
in the lifeboat,
for the feeling,
of solid ground.

Bilingual Poem: lifeboat

Out in the ocean,
floating with an empty soda bottle under each arm,
there in the distance,
after five years,
a lifeboat


a storm came,
the lifeboat sank.


Afuera en el océano,
flotando con un envase de soda debajo cada brazo,
ahí en la distancia,
después de cinco años,
un bote salvavidas


una tormenta vino,
un bote salvavidas hundió.