To the sea! To the sea!
Follow my feet up the Wearmouth quays
Where the gull brays
And memory keeps
Where old men watch the turn of days
And graves still pray

Past shipwrights’ industry
Looking for my heart to be
Rooted in a land where my
Soul is told to breathe

But I am not free

Wild heights and quarried ways
Hewn by hands in elder days
Or set by mind at dawn’s design
Still call to me, still call to me

And in the pounding, grey-lit surf
Waves convulsing, giving birth
I send my spirit to the wind
I soar from here, I’m gathered in

I’ve called this land my home, and for it
Given all to bless, restore it
To my gifts, the land has shuddered
Cannot claim me as a mother
So to the wind and to the sea
I will return where I am free
(You are the only Ten-I-see)
For my heart beats Tsalagi

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The above attempts to reconcile and understand my heart’s churnings while in Northern England. Photos are from Sunderland. Paintings completed in Tennessee in early 2014. All rights reserved.

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