Saltwater Hymn

Because I am of the sea
I have no love of waters
that are still.

I have seen crystal lakes
sun-kissed on mountainsides
and I have seen slow rivers
twisting sleepy-wide
(in short: all the things which people like
to put on postcards).

But I could never love them
though I’ve tried
for I am of the sea
the tireless blue green grey
wine-coloured sea;
the sea which
sings us tenderly to sleep.

And because I have the ocean
sounding in my ears
your lakes and ponds and rivers
make me sad;
and walking down their shores
weighs heavy on my chest
where it presses on my breaths
until they die.
For how could I ever love
water with confines?
At any given time
I’d rather have the sea.

And since I am of the sea,
the sea which
gives us life —
though capable of death,
death by tempestuous water —
how could I learn to love
the motionless lake-plains
that languish slowly where they lie?
How could I fall in love with
the reassuring roll of rivers?
(Though they might seem to move
their pace and core is static:
my people know this truth.)
Water that is stagnant
could never hold a candle to
the roiling, restless sea.

So cherish your expanses
of drowsy, dormant glass,
the comfortable sights of finite mirrors:
not everybody needs
to fill their lungs with vastness
to smell the storm and salt upon the wind;
not everybody needs
the huge and the eternal
the ever-changing changeless.

But the marshy shores and muddy
twists of rivers
have little use for me:
for all rivers in the end run to the sea,
and so do I.
Though some favor the hold
of smaller things,
it suffocates those
who love the sea —
the sea which calls us home
to its embrace,
as far as eye can see
and farther yet,
where the horizon slips
behind the waves.

Keep your placid waters
with their familiar, measured charms:
I have ever loved
the infinite unknown.

I am of the sea.


2 thoughts on “Saltwater Hymn

  1. Gaaaaaaahhh!!!! This is so amazing, I really can’t find the appropriate respose to properly convey how it’s made me feel, but I just want to live in it forever. You constantly keep raising the bar with each work, and I swear your talent feels so limitless now, that’s how strong it is. I will forever be in love with this.

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