Steady Voice

The winds are up from the south
pushing white caps over grey water,
a Pacific storm reaching over the Olympics,
Vancouver Island, to the inland sea.
Most of the shorebirds are hunkered down,
Canada geese tucked into lee cover,
otter laying low in thorn lined bowers.
There’s excitement on the wind,
as if the ocean were breathing upon us,
carrying messages from the far east
of change and new life.
Gulls flare up into the gusts –
storms won’t put them off –
but there are no sails within sight
and we too take shelter.
The sea has begun to roll,
the long fetch of southerly wind
bringing the broad channel awake
yet far below in a stone-lined canyon
the dark is unperturbed, the water still.
The depth will not roil as the surface churns,
a steady voice in the gathering gale.
I want to arc like the gull, dive like a whale
into the darkness, but I keep my post,
calm in the great change upon us,
finding myself in the wind, the wave
and the deep grey sea, vast and unmoved.





12 Responses to “Steady Voice”

  1. David Barnes says:

    Wondrous poem! Awesome!

  2. Eric says:

    Powerful! Thanks for this view!

  3. James Brian Henry says:

    I enjoyed your ecstatic vision of the whole in this scene. Just a glimpse really…but what a glimpse !

  4. Pichay says:

    This storm swept Northeasterly until Montana peaks and ridges said, “no further, beyond this point until this land takes its fill.” …then came giant snowflakes dancing from the sky. Bird flocks wonder if they arrived from the South too soon. But, their elders stay calm, their timing guided from above.

  5. The broad channel is roiled awake, that’s for sure. The messages coming to me on the long fetch of the southerly winds are of harsh uncompromising renewal. Painful as that might be, I welcome it as you do, Don. Beautiful work.

  6. Tom Figel says:

    Don, you describe the storm and the shore perfectly and, without meaning it, you describe the sight of Lake Michigan along the Chicago shore today, too – minus the whales and otters.

  7. maria says:

    Deeply anchored, yet appreciative of all levels. Thank you bard.

  8. Bill Dare says:

    Lifes one imutability… CHANGE. Love it Don.

  9. Elizabeth Nunn says:

    Yep, rock solid and steady.

  10. Veronica Lim says:

    Yes, Don!

  11. Lon says:

    “The depth will not roil as the surface churns ”
    Is the essence of the Steady Voice.
    Compelling verse Don.

  12. David Barnes says:

    I love this poem Don, and I love all your poems – great poems like this one with a great love, and minor poems with just slightly lesser love. The enduring impression here, for me, is this Presence – your Presence at your post, regardless of what you may want, such as arcing and diving in the winds and the waves. And here you are, in the midst of it all, calm, vast and unmoved, and here I am in that same place in that same way, with you. Wow!

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