As Far As You Can Go on Foot
AS FAR AS YOU CAN GO ON FOOT
At journey’s end you find a barren shore.
By staff, seven hundred miles and more –
and here’s no living trace, no monument.
No legendary table, eight chairs meant
to quell a family squabble. Those who swore
to peace are gone – to graves, if not to war.
What words of peace withstand the ocean’s bore?
The sea racks up on rock, its tidings spent.
At journey’s end
you fill your pockets – what, with shells? a store
of spiraled hope some living creature wore.
It’s dead – the sea-snail, not the hope. Content
to stand and gaze beyond man’s failed intent –
what might you make now of a rope, an oar
at journey’s end?