The great sea

Salt waves through the air streaming,
Over the stone clams and valleys of fish,
Pouring into mouths of tidal pools,
Lucent as moonlight; nightfall floating
Silver and exact: flickering darkness descending,

Mute as black slate cleaving into the shoreline.
The drifting wreckage of sand
Swallowed by the dark throat of the sea,
Stretched into its shallow banks,
The ragged rocks, the dead minnows.

All are gone: the dry wood, the broken oar,
The tolling bell, the soundless wailing,
All tongued with the dead water and the dead sand.
There is no end of it, the rending pain,
The sea and its conscious impotence of rage.

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The great sea