"To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up
in house, office, factory, or woman,
or street or mine or harsh prison cell:
to that person I come, and, without
speaking or looking,
I arrive & open the doors of the prison
& a vibration starts up, vague & insistent,
a great roar of thunder sets in motion
the rumble of the planet & the foam,
the groaning rivers of the ocean rise,
the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and the sea beats, dies, & goes on beating.
So, drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to & keep
the sea's lamenting in my consciousness
I must feel the crash of the hard water
& gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer autumn's castigation,
I may be present with an errant wave,
I move in & out of windows
& hearing me, eyes may lift themselves
saying "How can I reach the sea?"
And I shall broadcast, saying nothing,
the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and of quicksand,
a rustling of salt water withdrawing,
the grey cry of sea-birds on the coast.
So, through me, freedom & the sea
Will call in answer to the shrouded cart."
~Pablo Neruda, The Poet's Obligation
Some profound thoughts today while sifting through stories of trafficking survivors and freedom-bringers.