Sunday, August 15, 2010

Swept Homeward

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
(Sea-Fever, John Masefield)The hollow sea-shell, which for years hath stood
On dusty shelves, when held against the ear
Proclaims its stormy parents; and we hear
The faint far murmur of the breaking flood.
We hear the sea. The sea? It is the blood
In our own veins, impetuous and near,
And pulses keeping pace with hope and fear
And with our feeling’s every shifting mood.
(Sea-Shell Murmurs, Eugene Lee-Hamilton)Into the audience hall by the fathomless abyss
where swells up the music of toneless strings
I shall take this harp of my life.

I shall tune it to the notes of forever,
and when it has sobbed out its last utterance,
lay down my silent harp at the feet of the silent.
(Ocean of Forms, Rabindranath Tagore)...the great luggage of the sea
falls thudding and trundling
and tumbling up the stairs of
beach; its undertow hissing,
sometimes spitting, rolling
back on its own prolonged
susurrations; pouring in
loud hushes across planking
through the open bedroom door;
(Rapture, Robert Dana)Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
(Dover Beach, Matthew Arnold)When these small
clear pools and
nets of weed

teased by spray

they glowed
glinted sunsparks on
their speckled
skins.Spilled on the
they were
wet-sand jewels
still flecked with

gray stones
dry and dim.

Why did we bring them home?
(Beach Stones, Lillian Moore)When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.

My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up,
Till it could come no more.
(At the Sea-Side, Robert Louis Stevenson)I thought they were gone—
like the tutus and tiaras and wands
when she morphed from ballerina
to fairy princess to mermaid to tomboy,
refusing to wear dresses ever again.
Gone, those pastel party dresses,
the sleeves, puffed water wings buoying her up
as she swam into waters over her head.
(Shopping Urban, Jane Shore)If you should look
into a starlit night
and see a reflection of me
know only that
I will one day
come crashing again
to the shore
swept homeward
by the pull
of the tide
(Like Waves from the Shore, Marge Tindal)Out into the deep of the great dark world,
Beyond the long borders where foam and drift
Of the sundering waves are lost and gone
On the tides that plunge and rear and crumble.
(From the Shore, Carl Sandburg)Down on the shore, on the sunny shore!
Where the salt smell cheers the land;
Where the tide moves bright under boundless light,
And the surge on the glittering strand;
Where the children wade in the shallow pools,
Or run from the froth in play;
Where the swift little boats with milk-white wings
Are crossing the sapphire bay,
(Down on the Shore, William Allingham)And thank you for coming along on our trip.



Lisa said...

Breathtaking montage -- thank you! I love the wild sea. As I am in MA now (saw Walden Pond today), I will share some racy Dickenson:

Futile--the Winds--
To a Heart in port--
Done with the Compass--
Done with the Chart!
Rowing in Eden

Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor--Tonight--
In Thee!

Tomorrow: coastal ME.

mike said...

Chief, do I recognize those rocks as being near Cape Meares? Get some razorback clams with your eggs tomorrow, cooked up a la James Beard.

Liza; don't miss Gloucester and Cape Anne before you head north. I hope to be in Maine myself in September and maybe New Brunswick. PS - As a former Maine-iac I would say the best bargain in fishing towns on the Maine Coast are Lobster Rolls on the pier. Just a plain hot dog roll stuffed with bits and pieces of lobster that lost one or both claws (so are not so salable) and then slathered with mayonnaise. They can't be beat. Used to be less than a buck, probably a fiver by now. But get them right at the pier where they unload the lobster catch. Of course they are nothing like the lobster dinners and clambakes but those were budget busters in my memory unless you had a friend in the trade.

I am camped on the Whitefish River in Michigan's Upper Peninsula heading for Sault Sainte Marie tomorrow. No ocean but perhaps a whiff of the Atlantic when a Lake Superior bound ocean freighter goes through the locks.

FDChief said...

Lisa: Lovely - thank you for ED! Hope the coast of Maine is as restorative and lovely as I remember it.

Mike: It is. We had a little rental house in Netarts but spent most of our beach time in Oceanside, both along the west side of Cape Meares. Beautiful, relatively lonely part of the coast.

basilbeast said...

Excellent stuff, if it were me, I'd still be there.

Here's some pix from my world, the bike is mine. I'll have them on FB eventually.

A hello to Lisa & mike!


Lisa said...


Glouceseter was lovely, but of course, the tourist trade rules at this time. I would hope to return some time in off-season. To me, heaven would be to find a little cabin for a week in a very quiet place and just sit at the shore in contemplation. Instead, this is more of a reconnoitering trip. Beautiful nonetheless.

I hope your trip to the Maritimes is lovely -- another place I'd like to visit.

FDC: Had we gone further up the coast, I imagine it would've been quieter. Unfortunately, I did not see much ME coast, and am inland NH now.

Hello to bb.