Back to the Sea


I must go down to the sea 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 tails shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the sea’s 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 sea gulls crying.

I must go down to the sea’s again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gulls way and the whales way, where the winds like a whetted knife.

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long tricks over.

~ John Masefield


This was my step fathers favourite poem, it was read by my nephew at his funeral.  He had been in the Navy and told many tails of his travels.  Before that he piped the ships out to sea as a piper.  His father had spent a lifetime in the Merchant Navy and the sea was in his blood.  After he died my son told me he felt he had gone back to sea, I agreed as that is where I see him.

There is something about the sea that draws me, I’m drawn in all seasons but I do love the power of the waves crashing against the shore.  The sea takes no prisoners, we are at its mercy always and should respect its presence.

I hear the term ‘living on the edge’ is associated with those that are drawn to the sea and in some way connected with madness.  If that’s the case I’m okay with it as I am ruled by the elements, the brightness and warmth of the sun, the influence of the moon and tides, the power of the sea and the beauty of nature.

I walk to the sea when I’m unsure of myself, confused or melancholy in a way.  I let the wind blow through my hair and the salted wind whip at my face and it puts things back into perspective for me.  I realise I am just a very small part of this huge universe and everything will work out as it should.


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