I am a woman of wharfs and bays I always roam but never stray Too far from water, Too far from the shoreline Of ocean or lakeside docks, Swamps or the rivers Running through the wild Flower mountainside With it's dandelion clocks. My roots dry up and wither Without water, I desiccate and dry Without water I cannot Reconstitute me. Too far inland and I feel Totally lost at sea. My soul heaves the mainsail My psyche ploughs the waves Of years as they ebb and flow, The ropes they fray As another day Goes sideways pulled under The riptide as it goes. The coast is my Memory-jogging madeleine, My teacher of harsh lessons Whose strict teachings In these quiet days I fish and trawl Knowing I am a sailor on a Clipper ship heading for Unknown waters taking No man's dubious orders Nor waiting for his siren's call. That H2O my kryptonite: I am both afraid of the swell And long to wallow under the Waters fall to hear the tales That the dropping droplets tell. My desire, you see runs Desert hot and dry and needs Cool water's constant draughts To soothe the fire and Dilute the bitter gall Otherwise I could not stand All this standing still at all. I am a woman of wharfs and bays Constantly flowing downhill. When I was a child I would walk By the riverside and trace the tracks Of the boats as they went over The horizon to somewhere else, Somewhere else much father Which had everything I lacked. I am my own Cleopatra I ask no Anthony where is my vessel, Or how does it float or sink, How does it rise and fall And take off for the horizon Tied by the heart-strings to The same sails that it always was To no great use at all. Wharfs and bays, and the Turn of days about the Center point of ground Remembering the day the Sea came to greet the earth Making a ripping sound. I cannot stray too far from it But am always looking for The higher ground Where I can see the ocean And the secrets that I've found.