Tuesday Poem: Homing, by Helen Lowe


He hears it, in every slap
of wave against wood,
as the ship cleaves water
like a seabird, hears the word
that he has hungered for
through the lost years,
whispered to him now
by the sea as it bears him up,
speeds him on like a lover
to the consummation
of his long-held dream
of home: home, lilts the sea,
soft as a lullaby, and home,
sings the wind, slipping
through rigging, soothing
him to rest, not to wake
even as a clear dawn
pares away night, reveals
rocky shores and a green crag
rising, not even to stir
when they lift him
over the bulwark and down,
splashing through shallows
to leave him on shadowed sand,
tender as a child smiling
in his sleep, and dreaming,
dreaming still
of the long returning.

Published in JAAM 26 2008 (Aug/Sept). Reproduced by permission of the author.

Tim says:

Helen Lowe, who has recently joined the Tuesday Poets, wrote “Homing” as part of her “Ithaca Conversations” series, and I chose it – along with another poem and a story by Helen – for inclusion in JAAM 26, which I guest-edited. I was very impressed by the poems and the short fiction she submitted for that issue, and even more impressed when I found out about her most accomplished novels.

A couple of weeks ago, I published Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses” as my Tuesday Poem for the week. “Homing” is a fitting modern companion to that great Victorian poem.

Helen has now posted a companion post to “Homing” on her blog – well worth reading!