Denise Levertov

'The sea's repeated gesture'

Stroking its blue shore 
throughout the night, patient, patient,  
determined rhetoric that never  
persuades, the rocks unwilling 
to be pebbles, nights and days and  
centuries passing before the pebbles 
dwindle to join the sand, the sand itself  
at last barring the sea's way 
into the land, an island 
forming from the silt. Yet still 
all this night and all 
the nights of our life the sea 
stroking its blue shore, 
patient, patient—