As no one tied me to the mast,
I dove in headlong, swimming swiftly
To the nearby rocky shore,
To be dashed against the stones,
Tossed by churning waters
Back and forth, in frothy foam,
Drawn by voices indistinct,
Disjointed, stretched by violence,
Disoriented where the waves fell
Hard on boulders’ jagged edges;
Lost, my former goal, my purpose,
In this urgent need: survival.
Where were now my boon companions
Whom I might have charged to bind me?
How had I abandoned them,
And let my yearning overwhelm
All my training, all my wisdom,
What experience had shown
Must inevitably follow,
Following my yearning heart?
Now I strove to make some sense of
Where I am, of what confronts me
How to exercise control of
All my strength, establish bearings
That will let me choose a handhold,
Hold a jagged edge of boulder
Flexibly, just long enough
To thrust myself up free of swirling,
Tossing forces that would dash me
To disjointed pieces if I
Let them overwhelm my strength,
My purpose, vision, goals — my future?
Now above the cliff, surveying
What determined strength has won me,
Calm, reflecting on the struggle,
Turn and set my foot ahead.