We are mariners, mariners we,
made for the land, parted from sea
from that second day and still –
striving as on the earth to fill-
drawn by its alluring, billowy waves-
we drink down the depths
to find watery graves.
We hear the call, that age-old call,
a whisper first, a breeze enthralls,
that grows and storms, restless ocean
which floods within the hearts of men.
And from our own mouths, it ever rails:
“Depart, depart, and set you sails!”
And so headlong into the deep
we crash from quick-eroding beach.
Toeing the sand was never enough;
we ached to ride the riptides rough.
Water there upon land gives life
but here the salt-foam drains it dry.
But never we stop to ponder: why?
Why to the sea, which roars, “Stay back!”
Why tempt a beast, that is bound to attack?
But the sea is within us; we ate of its fruit
it drowns from inside ’til shore zephyrs fall mute.
We fashion our ships, believing them arks
to keep us safe from the ghostly white sharks.
But up on their decks as we voyage across
we all yet shoot down heaven’s albatross.
Best stay inland, best anchor your soul.
Our bodies might swim, but this old sailor knows:
there is no raft or vessel that might
bear us when the steady dock’s out of sight.
Cast out the life-sucking salt in your heart!
Rebuff its waves with its own cry: “Depart!”