The Other Shore

1The opposite shore was low and far, and flawed
2With Asian darkness. Nothing gleamed. No stir
3Of wind or tide could reach the cobalt blur
4Of that dim country under the sleeping cloud.
5We sailed the water once, on drumming wind.
6Astern the landmarks merged and fell away.
7And slowly there, across that marching sway
8Of seas, the blue shore lightened…and was land.
9Far out, beyond our bowsprit’s veer and swerve
10The blue land livened: planes of bronze and green
11Broke on the slopes unfolding there, between
12The shawl of cloud and the white thread of surf.
13Slowly it sharpened: hills and climbing roads,
14And fields above the measured rise and fall…
15Barns, fences, houses, cattle, beetle-small
16In pastures hemmed from the dark cape of woods.
17Earth, rock, fields, people, were the leaf and bloom
18Of that strange land. We sheltered in its lee.
19And turned away and saw the whole wide sky and sea,
20And low and far, the cobalt blur of home.
RPO poem Editors: 
Jim Johnstone
RPO Edition: 
2015
Special Copyright: 

Poem used with permission of the Charles Bruce Estate.