Return to the Sea
Upon entering Woods Hole… Dedicated to Little Fish.
Why doth my spirit shake so?
What distant echo has it heard,
to make it quake with holy joy
and anticipation? Did whiff of air
bring that ancient scent of salt
that doth recall memories of old?
What sight doth cloth the eye in
wet tear, yet unseen but felt by heart?
Can Mercy of God be so great as to
fulfill the prophesy and hope of yesteryear,
bring me after long journey home to the sea?
The happy sight! Oh the happy sight I see
even in the foggy midst of clouds conspired
to hide the wide and swelling majesty:
the sea! The sea doth call with joyful roil
with gentle crash and foamy wash upon
the beach-head still in the summer morn.
Good God! The blood within me calls
to the azure blood of Earth, in equal
proportion attesting to the primal
mold of man from sand and stardust
long ago, to kneel and meet, sink
within caress yet cold, but tender
of the ocean-sea within its fold.
The kiss of tears, of salty drops I press
and squeeze with bliss from heart I let
fall and mix with the coming surf, for
it to take away my greeting to the world
I greet again. A world yet unknown and
secret, as the Face of the Father, covered
not by star and cloud but depths unconquered
and not provoking man, tiny wonder.
I missed thine sight, being landlocked
so long by snow, by day’s swift journey
and scholar’s duty. But now free, I augment
my freedom to knowing you, my ocean.
Wash my face and bless me with the Touch
of God that quickens life within thy waters,
that first received the Breath of God in the world.