We are, forever,
Sighting, approaching
Or retreating from
Unexplored shorelines.
Footprints on sandbanks
Seeking higher land,
Fresh tracks on shingle
Downwards through gullies
Out to waiting seas.
Unfinished journeys,
Always casting off,
Never arriving…
New conquistadors
Watching for omens,
Birds, constellations,
Driftwood on currents,
Voices in the wind.
Each successive shore
Spread more seductive
Than the one before,
But no abiding
Haven for the heart,
Still less for the mind.
At the tide’s turning,
Anchors are lifted,
Islands receding
To hazy horizons,
Leaving images
No more permanent
Than spray in the wake
Of dawn caravels.

9 January 1991