Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ocean III

Sextant in hand, I walk the coasts:
 one foot in tide the other in waves of sand,
and above me wheel and call the white-winged stars,
 swooping in a slower dance than daytime's gulls.

How long have I walked here, mesmerized by sand
 and shifting latitudes? Half forgetting
the longing in my shoulders for a wind-taut sail,
 for a close-hauled tack with you against the harbor,
pulled in and sheltered by the arms of home--
 a point, a promontory, promising calm
and even keeling, and the chance to brave the rough
 another day.

How casting deep the sound may be,
 how high the sinking reef, the chart my feet have drawn
does not disclose. Horizons flee as fast as following,
 and the tide beneath my feet is shifting. And so I trust
to swirling stars, lights on that unseen shore, to guide me safe
 across the black sky, through the hush of waves.

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