“If There Is No Other Shore” July,2022 Featured Poem


This poem was inspired by a line from ” On Prayer” by Czeslaw Milosz. He was a marvelous Nobel Prize-winning Polish-American Poet. My parents grew up with summers on Long Island Sound. When getting ready to retire, they bought a sailboat. Mom felt that the salt water could cure anything. I visited and sailed with them when they moved to Plymouth Bay. She would be very happy that we live so close to the sea here in San Francisco, even it if is a different ocean. I think of her when I put my toes in the surf. She would be 110 today were she alive to walk with me and leave footprints on the sand.

If There Is No Other Shore”
from “On Prayer”
Czeslaw Milosz

I am journeying the ocean
that might never end.
Leaving behind my
rock-bound certainty
for the shadowed depths
and press of sky and sun.

In motion and sluicing sea
I sail in currents
under star-stitched skies—
alone yet accompanied
by albatross and dolphin.

Where am I sailing?
Saltwater surges in my veins,
drips from my eyes.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. João-Maria says:

    This is great. Milosz is one of my all-time favourites, and this poetry has inspired so much of my own. Max Richter has a great album that holds citations from both Kafka and Milosz, it’s called The Blue Notebooks. I highly recommend it!


  2. Cathy Wickham says:

    I love yet another poem by you, Heather! There’s a journey over water, through the body, and the
    heart’s tears, all the same life/beyond journey? Thank you!


    1. hmsestes says:

      Thank you Cathy! I hope. You are well in these strange times. It is a pleasure for me to know you read my poems and find some pleasure in them- Heather


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