I once walked beside the sea, its shimmering glass impressing me
and upon me an impression made with an old man gazing back.
“Ho there” I cried, and he waved back, as the waves crash through the brackish black
of sea water and white sea foam whence drowned sailors call their home.
“What are you doing here, old man, gazing into forgotten lands and pasts of people long left behind”
“'Tis not them I aim to find, but you, O God of Sea and Men whos cries for mercy were drowned
in waters of brackish black”.
I shrugged at this, and he sighed back.
“Tis not my fault, these men, they drown; they knew the risks and still left town and you can't place all blame on me”
“No want to blame, but sympathy.
These men left home for glory, honour, and still you care not for when they're slaughtered by your dire waves blown back?”
“No sympathy had, it was not lack
Of sight or sound or touch or deed or any thing or proverbial need, there was no thought to cause a fall
tis only luck that happeneth all”
At this the old man laughed at me, “call you God, O by the sea, yet here you say 'no fault of mine'? Should I call fate or fortune besides?
Stand them here from front to back beside the waters blown t'ward and back
over along the ships of numberless dead who only sought to gain their bread whilst high upon your altars you sit and chat of this or that and gaze no thought or pay no mind of any young man or son of mine who was left behind in waters black?”
“ 'Course I pay mind, the wreckage comes back”.
“Tell me, O God, why are you this way, to claim such power and such fame and dodge responsibilities lame as a calf, and thrice the shame”
“Tis you, you men, who are to blame. I am O God of this dark sea yet look upon the horizons same and understand it stretches past the echoes of water blown t'ward and back.
Beyond the world at large it goes, through the land and under the snow of glaciers more ancient than you know, and understand I am not all present in this time that or past times hence.
Your arms stretch wide and knock your tea but some men die and you say it's me? For my arms outstretched I am beeseeched to know all, be all, every wave and sea foam white from beach to beach?
Tell me this, old man, and nothing more; do they spake my name from across the shore? Do all men living know of me? Then how, old man, am I to know each and every tea that is thee?”
At this the old man laughed again, but greater sorrow and guilt than then
from before when he so accused me. “Pardon me, O God, I did not see.
I did not see you aren't to blame, for you are right, for no man can claim to be ever present or ever of mind, so greater your powers, so much left behind.
How can we expect for you to know we, when we only pray and give deference in times of need”.
We gazed out to sea, at horizons long past, with waves blown t'ward us before blown back
as more wreckage surfaced, a numberless name of a man long forgotten from a time long came
“Pardon me, O God, for I could not understand, what it was on your altar, so far from the land
that we call home, with our squabbles and sores, our problems and pities and cities galore
So numberless many, so nameless much, so hard to ever be in touch.
Pardon me, O God, for it does not matter, for 'cross so many lands, and so great matters,
your name is not known from one to all, but all know you still, as the sea and the fall
of the rising tide that took their sons.
We know not your name, Lord, but we know you as one. One who might try a bit harder hence, for we are but teacups
ants in wreck
We do not know, and never will see
But you can, and you do, and we all blame thee.”
And with this the old man picked up, and walked away, with a numberless dead, and a numberless name, known only to him, that is all I can say,
as I watched the waves,
black as brack,
with white sea foam,
blown t'ward and back.