Whenever we stood at the edge of a roaring surf, or were out in our fishing boat and the winds began to churn the surface to white caps, my father’s voice could be heard booming above the gusting howl. Nature’s torments always seemed to make him wax poetic. Decades later, I could still hear this favorite poem of his by John Masefield running through my mind, his voice reverberating through my soul, memories flooding my very fingertips, as I worked on this piece.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.