His news lies only at the crests
Of what we tell: he bobs in shallows
Mostly, and considers. Hears
Of islands from the chariest birds;
What castles does he raise from their
Least droppings? Craft that cross him where
He drifts come always purposely:
The gam’s an awkward business. Lines
Fall short, wind takes your words
And wrings them. Equally to cries,
To silence, a bland smile across
The heaving distance: scant reward
For voyage half so perilous.
Of what we choose to float at him
He makes a jetsam world we could
Never have thought ourselves. The winds
Conspire to cheat him. But who says
From off what continent our cries
Are lofted? In the highlands we
From peak to peak return in kind
Echo for echo faithfully.
Who says out there the wind is more
Capricious than what whips us here?