An ear to the ground – and wait –
You hear the chuckle and slap
Of chop in the surly strait
A thousand miles by the map?

Oh no; it is only a fault
Engrained in the rock of the mind;
Remembered grace to the halt,
Remembered sight to the blind.

Whatever the world becomes,
They will not leave you alone –
The old impersonal drums
Of leisurely surf on stone.

An echo, following still;
A silence, gathered and drowned
In tides of a restless will
To live again with the sound.

It’s comfort in your virtue
And penance for your sins,
Till somewhere east of Cornwall
The smell of salts begins.

© Harry Bruce, All Rights Reserved