What seas what shores what grey rocks and what islands
What water lapping the bow
And scent of pine and the woodthrush singing through
What images return
O my daughter
Those who sharpens the tooth of the dog, meaning
Those who glitter with the glory of the hummingbird,
Those who sit in the stye of contentment, meaning
Those who suffer the ecstasy of the animals, meaning
Are become unsubstantial, reduced by a wind,
A breath of pine, and the woodsong fog
By this grace dissolved in place
What is this face, less clear and clearer
The pulse in the arm, less strong and stronger –
Given or lent? more distant than stars and nearer than
Whispers and small laughter between leaves and hurrying
Under sleep, where all the waters meet.
Bowsprit cracked with ice and paint cracked with heat,
I made this, I have forgotten
The rigging weak and the canvas rotten
Between one June and another September.
Made this unknowing, half conscious, unknown, my own.
The garboard strake leaks, the seams need caulking.
This form, this face, this life
Living to live in a world of time beyond me; let me
Resign my life for this life, my speech for that unspoken,
The awakened, lips parted, the hope, the new ships.
What seas what shores what granite islands towards my
And woodthrush calling through the fog