The diamond splay of sun upon the shuttle of waves
entices me, draws me, surrenders me, singer of songs, swimmer
of ponds, but you are more, Mother, enchantress, destroyer.

Surf pounds to the shore, seizes me with its incessant roar,
I cannot escape the thought of the endless drowned who sought
to conquer you, only to dream of escape, as you ate fathoms below.

I pause, draw breath, roll and rest upon your bosom content
with your nurturing; join to the swell and drift of a perfect
summer day; contemplate, the blue sky, white clouds drift by

perfect mimic of my eye, teardrop in a teardrop,
coddled within infinite sky, my mother protects me,
nurtures my finite sea, sustains me, contains me,

and so I begin; I soar to the horizon of sight,
to the point of refraction of light
collect all beneath me and sweep out to sea.

To the depths, through the shoals, to the secret springs of water,
where fish sing to drowned men and divers believe they hear
the song of the mermaids. Where dreams are born and the fantastic

becomes real, as surely as my words are written by hand.
Down to the impression the waves make on the sand,
each ripple reflecting a diamond of light by command.

Above to where the tempest is born;
where waves reach out to the sky with iron arms
and seize it, pull it beneath to taste the salt

of life (the briefest moment before drowned clears the mind
exceptionally); reminds me what matters most, though it be but play
of light and shadow, rock ground by wave into sand, tossed ashore,

to be anyone’s beach, anyone’s plaything. And here we are,
umbrellas firmly planted, risible flags proclaiming,
“This is ours, this patch of sand.” We spread out blankets,

eat jam sandwiches, toss around our beach ball, relax, drink, sing songs, until
that water looks so good, so cold and refreshing, ripples casting fantastic sprays
of light, we race to be first in, first to feel, the water’s caress, and we surrender,

dive in and up! With shock and delight, water written
on our skin, sky explodes into spray as we splash around
bring everyone into our play, seize the instant from the day … .

I resolve I must be the water; I must reach out past certain shores, I must
remember the seabed as I extol the sky; I must be cold, I must be warm;
if I am never shallow, I will never be deep; and it is surely one thing to float

in summer’s instant kiss,
another to struggle one moment more before drowning
in winter water’s lead.

I will remember to surrender the treasures I have swallowed.
I will call out to all passers-by to read my waves, pay attention to my depths.
Teach all to write upon the shore, the secret springs of poetry and song.

where every language is made
where man is forged as he is squeezed
between life, death and all that he does not command.

So I swim
to the point where there is no shore
ready to sing with the sea.

To become the rage, become the murmur
of waves lost ‘mongst pebbles,
the endless voice in each mouthful I sing;

to teem with life, find room for each creature,
accept the dead, ease their pain;
with song and prayer, fill the lowest, raise all ships

on my breast, in my heart, through song as clear as water;
toll from the depths that hide their springs ‘neath the crushing sea,
that is the life of us all; sing as you command me to sing, Mother.

This is the voice you have given me, let it not drown between
the waves and the shore; let it sing songs to you, I who am lost
on the waves that are your laughter; I will not surrender;

I am your loved one, listen to me sing!
I mimic your voice as your waves threaten
to fill my mouth before the end of my song.

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