Tag Archives: Salt-Water Poems and Ballads

Dream Sailing

Last night in my dream, I was sailing again. Watching the sails until they catch the wind just right and feel the boat’s surge.  Perhaps it is dancing with the wind on the water, that visceral, sensual sensation I get when I think of sailing. Somehow being more alive.  I was in New York for the Bicentennial when the Tall Ships sailed in from all over the world – there was no bigger kid oohing and aahing than me.

Earlier in my life I lived near the water,  I had friends with a variety of sailing boats, from a sail board to a catamaran and a 23 ft sloop. I love the ocean and I carry it in my heart . Unfortunately I am not a fan of hurricanes so I live in the mountains. I visit streams and rivers which I love but it is not the same. (Like the difference between canned and frozen peas – same source but different experience in your mouth. )

I have recited this poem aloud to myself more times than I can tell you. (I may see a road trip coming on!)

Sea-Fever  by John Mansfield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sailing’s shaking.
And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.

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 seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the winds’ like a whetted knife;
All I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.