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Dawn, South of Cape Mudge BC

for Jon

In earliest memory I run towards the sea
as fast as a toddler’s legs will carry me.
Nothing has changed, nor ever will:
with open arms and singing heart I run towards it still.

And if in my final hour I truly see
that long, dark tunnel of which so much is said —
I know what the light at the other end will be:
the unmistakable glitter of sun on water, just ahead.


Run away to sea, my dear, I must;
for it’s my first, my fundamental passion:
a hook in the heart, a thirst, a love, a lust,
a homesickness, a migratory call.
I sail with intent, not to arrive,
but simply to be more perfectly alive —
alive, on living water. That is all.

Still, to some inner compass you are North,
true North; and in its anadromous fashion,
my heart acknowledges its hailing port —
circling far and blue and deep, but ever
returning to my one familiar river.

— © D. A. Clarke, 2017

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