Call of the Sea


One day as I stood watching those great waves,

It came into my mind that if I went in among them then I should never get away.

That same moment I turned and fled, as fast as my feet

Could carry me, ever farther from that sea.


And in my mad flight from the one ocean,

I found unendurable the sound of those breakers that I should ever hear again;

In my evil I chased mirages of the desert

And found myself unsatisfied, empty, hurt.


At last, desperate, dying of what I’d chosen,

I thought I’d risk dabbling in that sea, even though I would be swept away if it rose.

Even then I feared and only dared to wet my feet

Lest in a tide stronger than I, I find me.


After a last flight, farther than before

So very weary, sick, hateful of myself, I dared to venture in beyond the shore

And, as I’d long known I would be, was caught in that tide:

Washed away, beyond hope of successful flight.


Dirty, evil, wrath-deserving, I’d dove

Into that wild ocean’s cleansing waters and been carried away by its white foam –

Cared not where the tide took me; I’d one need – to be clean.

I’ll ne’er escape, okay – from death’s thirst I’m free.


Copyright 2016 Raina Nightingale