For too many days now I have not
written of the sea, nor the rivers,
nor the shifting currents
we find between the islands.
For too many nights now I have not
imagined the salmon
threading the dark streams
of reflected stars,
nor have I dreamt of his longing
nor the lithe swing of his tail toward dawn.
I have not given myself
to the depth to which he goes,
to the cargoes of crystal water,
cold with salt, nor the enormous plains
of ocean swaying beneath the moon.
I have not felt the lifted arms of the ocean
opening its white hands on the seashore,
nor the salted wind, whole and healthy
filling the chest with living air.
I have not heard those waves
fallen out of heaven onto earth,
nor the tumult of sound and the satisfaction
of a thousand miles of ocean
giving up its strength on the sand.
But now I have spoken of that great sea,
the ocean of longing shifts through me,
the blessed inner star of navigation
moves in the dark sky above
and I am ready like the young salmon
to leave this river, blessed with hunger
for a great journey on the drawing tide.
– David Whyte