May Sarton

MAY SARTON

The Waves by May Sarton

Even in the middle of the silent firs,
The secret world of mushroom and of moss,
Where all is delicate and nothing stirs,
We get the rumor of those distant wars
And the harsh sound of loss.

This is an island open to the churning,
The boom, the constant cannonade,
The turning back of tides and their returning,
And ocean broken like some restless mourning
That cannot find a bed.

Oh love, let us be true then to this will-
Not to each other, human and defeated,
But to great power, our Heaven and our Hell,
That thunders out its triumph unabated,
And is never still.

For we are married to this rocky coast,
To the charge of huge waves upon it,
The ceaseless war, the tide gained and then lost,
And ledges worn down smooth but not downcast-
Wild rose and granite.

Here in the darkness of the stillest wood,
Absence, the ocean, tires us with its roar;
We bear love's thundering rumor in the blood
Beyond our understanding, ill or good-
Listen, once more!

(from A Grain of Mustard Seed, 1971)