The following poem appears in Collected Poems (1957-1982) of Wendell Berry, North Point Press. It is one of a number of "farmer" poems in which Mr. Berry explores relationships.
The Farmer and the Sea
The sea always arriving,
hissing in pebbles, is breaking
its edge where the landsman
squats on his rock. The dark
of the earth is familiar to him,
close mystery of his source
and end, always flowering
in the light and always
fading. But the dark of the sea
is perfect and strange,
the absence of any place,
immensity on the loose.
Still, he sees it is another
keeper of the land, caretaker,
shaking the earth, breaking it,
clicking the pieces, but somewhere
holding deep fields yet to rise,
shedding its richness on them
silently as snow, keeper and maker
of places wholly dark. And in him
something dark applauds.
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