The drilling wind, the whittling air
these cruel tortured days
could eat the feeling in the mind
to the thought beneath despair:
we are our elegies of praise;
our going through is all.
These objects caught in light,
discarded anchor, sodden bird,
the wind-rhyming shell
reveal the heart is desolate.
Worm-wood hull and ruined shore,
the sharp thrust of splintered wood
scratch the mind with shapes of pain;
severed now, this one bird’s claw
rejects the traitor tide.
Under the ravaging brittle wind
anchor, stone and driftwood lie:
dragged in a net of sentiment
they’ll clutter up the mind —
till they become an elegy
or riveted to praise
endure the traffic of the heart.
Our winter shore is leashed to a tide
that covers all. But we must build:
build from the havoc of our days.