Ode To the Sea












Surrounding the island 
There’s sea.
But what sea? 
It’s always overflowing. 
Says yes, 
Then no, 
Then no again,
And no, 
Says yes 
In blue 
In sea spray
Says no 
And no again. 
It can’t be still.
It stammers 
My name is sea. 

It slaps the rocks 
And when they aren’t convinced, 
Strokes them 
And soaks them 
And smothers them with kisses. 
With seven green tongues 
Of seven green dogs 
Or seven green tigers 
Or seven green seas,
Beating its chest,
Stammering its name, 

Oh Sea, 
This is your name. 
Oh comrade ocean, 
Don’t waste time 
Or water 
Getting so upset 
Help us instead. 
We are meager fishermen, 
Men from the shore 
Who are hungry and cold 
And you’re our foe.
Don’t beat so hard, 
Don’t shout so loud, 
Open your green coffers, 
Place gifts of silver in our hands.
Give us this day 
our daily fish.

-Pablo Neruda


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