I am as restless, said the ocean to the shore,
as if I should have been a hungry lion
prowling round my cage.
Back and forth I roll, along your beaches,
exploring all your world, for I've been everywhere.
I've heard a thousand languages
and understood them all -
if only in my oceanic way.
Beside my energy and motive power,
the life of land
and lives of creatures on the land
are undiluted languor. Mankind
has deduced the shape and structure of the universe,
the mass and thrust of particles; his mind
is very close to God's - or to that part
of God's intelligence that has to do
with engineering, structures, heft and energy.
But of my depths and structures, of my powers,
those that are bottled up inside,
within the darkness of my belly, so profound
that no amount of light dispels it,
of my secrets man is ignorant.
I am the future said the ocean to the shore,
I see in you the present vanishing,
and then I see that what is left is past.
But people turn to me for poetry.
(Did you know that?) They turn to me,
for I am he who is dynamic. You, the land,
have settled into what you are, not what
you are to be. I know you have your movements,
but your movements are the movements of disaster;
your fragility is plain for all to see:
it suffers earthquakes and volcanoes.
My movements are of me. They are expressions
of my freedom and a joyful way of life.
And yes, I have great movements forced upon me,
but my fluid nature bounces back at once.
Only you are plunged into great suffering.
Deep in my belly are a billion tiny things,
along with killer whales and serpents and the like,
and though you, land, may also breed your living,
they are not part of you
as mine are part of me
like foetuses I'm carrying.
The Word was born in me,
as was the human race.
All races grew, as if for ever,
in the darkness of my flesh. You, land, were stone.
Only my body throbbed with life back then.
I speak of foolishness,
of what the world calls foolishness;
of birth and foetuses, no less -
but not of creatures carrying to term.
The foetus was The Word, The Word
became a poem or a song.
I will give birth to it repeatedly.
Between the last wave and the first,
it will be born as eyes are blinking open
or as they close or not at all.
Be careful of it if you find it on your beach,
for it is born of love, not treachery.
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