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CK Baker  Mar 2017
Stanley Park
CK Baker Mar 2017
there’s a barnacle scar
deeply ingrained
on the basalt stack
at mark thirty two
whispering summer winds
scented oil
cotton and roe
drift
as waves brush
and shape
the sandstone shore

the briny air
and lost erratic
set a tone to this
pollyanna portrait
it's andrews undulations
and gifted benches
its concessions
and traces of the barry burn
its sculpted driftwood
and sanko lines
make this picture
almost perfect

children play
as venom spews
from the caterwaul pair
those odd looking mates
casting smiles
with arrested despair
settling shots
swiping bugs
dipping and darting
as photo men
and muscles
and long neck seabirds
make their turn

the hunched hoody
and his sorted sidekick
get their fill
(of moss and rubble ~ chubby and kelp)
nice to meet your acquaintance
the pho man would say
an odd drop
and ironic turn
from those horrific corners
of timeless desperation
down by cannon bridge

harbor seals
and carriage horse
are fronted by
raven shade
jolly tides pause
in quiet bays
(with curious looters
and *** pickers)
sand merchants
and field totems
all streamed by the light

cirrus strands
blanket the
outer edge
hovering craft
and shimmering willows
bolt the evening frame
blood orange
and tethered
with a filtered glare
bottle-nose dolphins
and seabirds
(and shifting tides)
are all settling in
for the long night stay
Kevin J Taylor Sep 2015
Shoulders rolling, rising
as icebergs from their glacier calf to sea—
as men, we fend the rimless wilds

With force, flung, withheld,
intelligence, ancestral songs of origin,
of prophesy, returning avatars

Overhead
white seabirds
wheeling
.
I guess you’re on your own with this poem. I can tell you where it begins. The scene is set in ancient times, and as near as I remember— a northern, coastal region following the spring equinox. A few of us had embarked upon a quest to find The One.
.
The One: Everyone knows what "The One" means for themselves, whether they love or hate or are indifferent. Of course, "The One" was not what we called such a Being but it serves to communicate. The name does not matter for the purpose of this poem. Most of Earth have heard it anyway, in one incarnation or another.
Calf: The offspring of various large mammals, such as cows (cattle), elephants and whales. Also, a piece of an iceberg or a glacier that breaks away or the action of this happening.
Fend: (figurative) To defend or attack with skill, make one’s way.
Avatar: The manifestation of a deity or released soul in ****** form.
.
KKM Apr 2014
She walked in with a cut up eye, stardust in her broken bones and a smile
And before he and I could ask, "what have you done now" she held out her hands
In her palms she collected galaxies that sprouted not from this universe but strength.
And when you looked in her eyes instead of brown,
You'd see songs from seabirds that I never heard because,
Seabirds don't sing,
But in this scope they also tight line across the ways her eyes lit up the moon in the sky.
And then she says, "little sister, never let anyone make you manageable. Always remain untamed."
The swirls in her dress when she spun out of the room
Burst out flared frayed and flamed.
She was an atomic cloud of energy, but her rain didn't fall; it splattered.
Then that night wrapped in white sheets that failed to hold me still
Watching her from the bed across from mine,
I whispered: "welcome home, I’ve missed you."
But instead of peaceful prayers and stories of springing surprises,
I hear the sounds of hurt dripping into soft pillows and wet tears.
My sister never cries.
Sitting up in bed with the streetlight glowing on her face
The only thing she tells me using sea salt and lemons,
Dangerous dreams from swimming with the devil
And daggers made from hopeful rising levels
Is, "please don't fade away.”
The cobwebs on my lips where spiders have spun intricate art
On my teeth told her I don't speak very often.
This individuality has been stripped off my tongue
Now I only taste fire made of wooden chips, not adventure.
The sand grains from the park on school premises
And not the beach where at least they'd be water kissed.
Please don’t fade away.
I could be the replica of everyone else; my shadow kind of looks like yours doesn't it?
I sunk back in the sheets afraid of her tears but before I could disappear into blankness
She gathers feathers in her words and asks,
"Who wouldn't drown the stars for you?
You painted yourself with the colour of the ocean
But only you understood the ocean is not just blue
During sunset it’s the colour of fire running through your veins
As you sink your teeth in the bar of yogurt, ambitions, dreams and raspberries.
In the middle of the night it is the colour of the moon
And the ruffles of waves that shake you awake.
During the birth of dawn it is the fight in your heart bleeding electricity in your eyes,
The light of illumination never lacking loyalty in those dreams of the sea you swallow."
What’s more familiar to us, time? Or memories?
Instead of playing life on the record player
We play it by the clock and repeat the same day over again
Our air smells the same, and we all play the same games.
The message is urgent and it lies in all of us.
Please don’t fade away as I lose all of my trust.
Dying in secrecy that no one wants to touch
It’s a boundless barrier, scary bordering scarier.
Please don’t fade away.
Everything inside of us that craves to be heard,
Is bottled up in the same fashion trends clothing our bodies
The same career choices that teach no new hobbies
The same sentences cling to the walls in hallways and lobbies.
The ignorance in not trying new things
Flies into everyone
Maybe it was a plane crash
Made of rumors and old traditions
That killed people’s appetites for new choices
That suffocated the volume in people’s voices
That left me swimming between everything but rejoices.
When I cant think right I walk left
But we are not old photographs that deteriorate our personalities
We are bodies of water but no one needs a shore
No one needs to send you approval when you’re so sure
Like I was told using sea salt and lemons
I’ll build on that with cucumbers and daisies,
Break out. And please, don’t fade away.
How can someone made of flowers be degraded to dust?
How can you sit there in chains that turn you to rust?
How can ugly gnomes manage to catch stardust?
How can monsters keep murdering like they must?  
I don’t know which way the wind will blow
But when it does it will blow strong
And I will not blow with it.
I heard you say society tells you to be yourself
You are yourself, and then society says no you’re doing it wrong.
Here, watch me, it’s like this.
Tara Jan 2019
The ocean,
oh it looked so blue,
shades of colour swimming around like clouds around the moon,

The water,
oh it looked so clean,
but it was just the sun's reflection making it clear,

Underneath the waves lay a graveyard,
a promise of death,
a promise of extinction,

Tombs made of plastic,
slathered in oil,
steaming with toxic waste,
and all the people know,

The damage is unfolding faster than we are evolving,

The turtles are ingesting plastic as if it were their only meal,
begging for their fins to just be free,
so they can dive through the sea,

The seals are tangled in nets, lines and lures,
plastic bags and packing bands,
till they're tied to their grave as if life were just a brief phase,

The seabirds skim the ocean waves for fish and squid,
yet plastic is their only catch of the day,
leaving them broken inside and out,
and dead on the beaches we claim are our own,

The whales are submerged beneath the sea,
eating most things that they see,
plastic, plastic everywhere beneath,
not giving them much time before they can no longer breathe,

The dolphins are gliding through the sea,
taking what they can to eat,
plastic as their only meal,
tearing them apart from within,
leaving them starving for weeks,
till the grave is the only thing they see,

Us humans are so weak,
we can’t see how deep the pain seeps,
but when nothing is left for us to eat,
and the rich have nothing left to steal,
we’ll end in the same graves as all the lives we could have healed.
In our minds fell
The silent sounds
Of seabirds singing of summer
Of sweet sun-soaked smiles
Calm blue skies,
Kind hearts
We struggle to recall
The light

And each of us searched
Through cities for something
To make us feel
But after all it was the
Ballerina
The words carried on the curve of her back
As the rise and fall of the piano drifted sweetly
Across the stage
Lifting toes and feet ready for snow

The spirit of the room was dancing
All our hearts were dancing
With the melodies which rung
Over crisp new fields

After all,
Warmth healed the rough skin
Of winter's miserable song.
harlon rivers Aug 2018
.
The waves spilled the rising tide
back into the scattered footprints  in the sand
deeply entrenched in life’s mystery,
receding into every breaking wave


A stiff sea breeze put back every grain of sand,
elements of a larger object gathers,
gravity firmed, into the silent shoreline chasms—
a beheld essence washed out to sea
by the fugitive tides and retreating sea-foam


Soon all trodden traces visibly vanish;
unmarked mileposts on a metaphysical pathway
slip away back to a windswept shoreline
and elapsing summer tide


Seabirds glide in slow-motion,
held sway into the shapeless gusts —
as if feathered puppets hovering,
hanging from the rafters
of the burgeoning orange sky


There's an uncommon peace in the renaissance;
effervescent crisp ocean air filling
the indefinable emptiness
marooned within each heartbeat’s echo


Each new breath inhaled,  disappearing within
the unhealed hollow of every thing once believed;
fully aware this life is unholdable as time,
yet feeling many things deeply retained
    in each passing moment—
slipping away like a handful of sand
sifting through all these hands once held


Presence becoming wreathed in a miasma of stillness,
space that levitates like an unpredictable fog
that seeps into the gnawing voids
of an unsated hunger



harlon rivers  ...  August 1st,  2018
a piece from the TRAVELOGUE collection:
https://hellopoetry.com/collection/27104/travelogue/

Getting away from my ordinary life maze seems to be changing perspective; moments still unfold as they are intended, but there is less peripheral distraction, more focus on the simple things that enrich life in the moment.

I did not plan on posting anything else until back to daily Internet access
in Fall ... plus, much I've scribbled these days, seems derivative of the last  pieces i've published: that said, this is of the present moment and as close to peace as I've tread in eons:  Thank you for taking the time to check out something newly written at a time when my web access and participation @ HePo is sporadic at best.   :)  rivers
Nigel Morgan Nov 2013
Think of an imagined orchestra. But there is no resonance hereabouts, so the imagination gives next to nothing for your efforts, and even in surround-sound there’s so little to reflect the dimensions of the space your walking inhabits. Sea hardly counts, having its constant companionship with wind, and sand hills absorb the footfall. A shout dies here before the breath has left the lungs.

Listen, there is a vague twittering of wading birds flocked far out on the sand. The sea rolls and breaks a rhythmic swell into surf. There’s a little wind to rustle the ammophila and only the slight undefined noise of our bodies moving in this strip between land and sea. Nowhere here can sound be enclosed except within the self. There’s a kind of breathing going on, and much like our own, it has to be listened for with a keen attention.

There is such a confusion of shapes making detail difficult to gather in, even to focus upon, and to attempt an imagined orchestration – impossible. We’ll have to wait for the camera’s catch, its cargo to be brought to the back-lit screen. Once there it seems hardly a glimmer of what we thought we saw, what we ‘snapped’ in an instant. It’s too detached, too flat. So thankfully you sketch, and I feel the pen draw shapes into your fingers and their moving, willing hand. On your sketchbook’s page the image breathes and lives.

You can’t sketch music this way because the mark made buries itself in a network that seems to defy with its complexity any image set before you. Time’s like that. You end up with a long low pitch, pulsating; a grumbling sound rich in sliding harmonics. You see, landscape does not beget melody or even structure and form, only tiny, pebbled pockets of random sound. Here, there is no belonging of music. Only the built space can adequately house music’s home. We might ****** a few seconds of the sea’s turn and wash, a bird’s cry, the rub and clatter of boot on stone, and later bring it back to a timeline of digital audio and be ‘musical’ with it, or not.

Where we hold music to landscape is something we are told just happens to be so; it is the interpretation’s (and the interpreter’s) will and whim. It is an illusion. The Lark Ascends in a Norfolk field. We hear, but rarely see, this almost stationary bird high in the morning air. We can only imagine the lark’s eye view, but we know the story, the poem, the context, so our imagination learns to supply the rest.

What is taken then to be taken back? On this November beach, on this mild, windless afternoon,. Am I collecting, preparing, and easing the mind, un-complicating mental space, or unravelling past thoughts and former plans? I can then imagine sitting at a table, a table before a window, a window before a garden, and beyond the garden (through the window) there’s a distant vista of the sea where the sun glistens (it is early morning), and there too in the bright sky remains a vestige of a night’s drama of clouds. But today we shall not put music to picture from a camera’s contents, from any flat and lifeless image.

Instead there seem to be present thoughts alive in this ancient coastline, abandoned here the necessary industry of living, the once ceaseless business of daily life. Instead of the hand to mouth existence governed by the herring, the course strip farming below the castle, the herds of dark cattle, the possible pigs, some wandering sheep, seabirds and their eggs for the ***, the gathering of seaweed, the foraging for fuel: there is a closing down for winter because the visitors are few. We need the rest they say, to regroup, paint the ceilings, freshen up the shop, strengthen the fences, have time away from the relentlessness of accommodating and being accommodating. Only the smell of smoking the herring remains from the distant past – but now such kippering is for Fortnums.

We step out across and down and up the coastal strip: an afternoon and its following morning;  a few miles walking, nothing serious, but moving here and there, taking it in, as much as we can. We fill ourselves to the brim with what’s here and now. The past is never far away: in just living memory there was a subsistence life of the herring fishers and the itinerant fisher folk who followed the herring from Aberdeen to Plymouth. Now there are empty holiday lets, retirement properties and most who live here service the visitors. Prime cattle graze, birds are reserved, caravans park next to a floodlit hotel and its gourmet restaurant. There’s even a poet here somewhere - sitting on a rock like a siren with a lovely smile.

Colours: dull greens now, wind-washed-out browns, out and above the sea confusions of grey and black stone, floating skeins of orange sands and the haunting, restless skies. Far distant into the west hills are sculpted by low-flying clouds resting in the mild air. Wind turbines step out across the middle distance, but today their sails are stationary. As the bay curves a settlement of wooden huts, painted chalets then the grey steep roofed houses of stone, grey and hard against the sea.

Does music come out of all this? What appears? What sounds? What is sounding in me? There is nothing stationary here to hang on to because even on this mild day there is constant change. Look up, around, adjust the viewpoint. There’s another highlight from the sky’s palette reflecting in the estuary water, always too various and complex to remember.

Music comes out of nothing but what you build it upon. It holds the potential for going beyond arrangements of notes. Pieces become buildings, layers in thought. My only landscape music to date begins with a formal processional, a march, and a gradually broadening out of tonality the close-knit chromatic to the open-eared pentatonic. There’s a steady stream of pitches that do not repeat or recur or return on themselves, as so much music needs to do to appease our memory.

In this landscape there seem only sharp points of dissonance. I hear lonely, disembodied pitches, uncomfortable sounds that are pinned to the past. The land, its topography as a score grasping the exterior, lies in multi-dimensional space, sound in being, a joining of points where there is no correlation. There’s a map and directions and a flow of time: it starts here and ends there, and so little remains for the memory.

Yet, this location remains. We walked it and saw it fortunately for a brief time in an uninhabited state. We were alone with it. We looked at this land as it meets the sea, and I saw it as a map on which to place complexes of sound, intensities even,. But how to meet the musical utterance that claims connection? It is a layering of complexes between silences, between the steady step, the stop and view. There is perhaps a hierarchy of landscape objects: the curve of the bay, the sandhills’ sweep, the layerings of sand, and in the pools and channels of this slight river that divides this beach flocks of birds.

Music is such an intense structure, so bound together, invested with proportions so exact and yet weighed down by tone, the sounding, vibrating string, the column of air broken by the valve and key, the attack and release of the hammered string. But there is also the voice, and voices are able to sound and carry their own resonance . . .

. . . and he realised that was where these long drawn out thoughts, this short diary of reflection, had been leading. He would sit quietly in contemplation of it all and work towards a web of words. He would let their rhythms and sounds come together in a map, as a map of their precious, shared time moving between the land and the sea, the sea and the land.
I
Hear the story of our oil –
Hail to oil!
From the glory days of Drake well we recoil,
To see seabirds flap and shudder,
Dolphins, turtles flop and sputter
With collective dying groan.
Hear our population moan
When the gasoline price geysers to the sky.
Still we drive, drive, drive,
To keep consumer binge alive,
Amid a maritime disaster fast evolving from the spoil
Of the oil.
For the oil, oil, oil, oil,
Oil, oil, oil,
For the gushing and the oozing of the oil.

II
Smell the ancient dark crude oil
Stinking oil!
Engulf the products made refining from a boil:
Guzzle gasoline flambé,
Drive-through fast food every day,
Raise our carbonated toast to Arctic roast…
Then drill more oil!
GM corn and corn-fed beef --
Both born of oil,
The shaving cream I slather on my face is made from oil,
Toothpaste, vitamins and lipstick,
Tires, everlasting plastic,
Come from oil;
All American affliction
Petrolopium addiction –
Truth is stranger now than fiction
And it does not set us free;
We are prisoners of oil,
And as slaves to OPEC pricing we all toil,
For the tapping and the lapping
Of the oil.
For the oil, oil, oil, oil,
Oil, oil, oil,
For the drilling and the swilling of the oil.

III
Soak in news of spilling oil –
Offshore oil!
In grim images of damage that the television splays;
First blow-out slimed in sixty-nine at Santa Barbara Bay
Then ten years next blew Ixtoc
In the Gulf of Mexico,
Two-ninety day gush tick tock
Slick slopped thousand miles away
To Texas shores!
In Alaska’s Prince William Sound
Exxon Valdez ran aground in eighty-nine;
Full tanker load erupted,
Left the rocky coast corrupted –
Prudhoe crude!
Seals and otters stuck in goo
Seabirds suffered coatings too,
Cruising tourists supped in view
Of the oil, oil, oil,
Thickened slick encrusted oil
On the shore!
How it clings and clogs and covers;
All aquatic life it smothers
Marsh and beach are left in cataclysmic mire!
Still we “drill baby drill,”
All our gas tanks gotta fill,
We must shop, shop, shop,
Lest our wasteful lifestyle stop,
So we run, run, run,
Take our car vacation fun --
At the beach…
See the sheen -- how it shines!
Pretty rainbow-colored lines
From the oil!
We love our oil, oil, oil, oil,
Oil, oil, oil,
For economy cachinging in the oil!

IV
Hear the praise of offshore oil,
Miles deep oil!
For the goal of independence on our oceans now we toil,
Till ungraceful conflagration
Twenty April rocked the nation
On the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
Eleven lives were lost in blast
As the deep crude spewed out fast,
Gushing Hell!
Couldn’t stop it with top ****,
Junk shot, golf *****, caps wouldn’t still
Gushing well,
And the spreading, spreading, spreading
In a steady surging crawl,
Gulf coast residents all dreading
That their livelihoods might stall,
Now the fish and shrimp are ill,
Tourist business will be nil,
And still oil spews…
We must thank God that there’s *****,
For there’s nothing but bad news
And the ooze, ooze, ooze
Oily ooze.
Who will pay, who will pay?
Who will make this go away?
Who’s to blame? Who’s to shame?
Many pointy fingers aim –
Lefty points to rich BP,
Righty points to rock Obama,
And there’s six sticks pointing back at you and me!
We will pay, pay, pay,
At the gas pumps we will pay,
So we can drive, drive, drive,
And keep America alive;
Despite the grim disaster that arises from the spill,
The way we live and spend won’t easily end;
So we’ll still say “drill baby drill,”
Each time our gas tanks get a fill,
And we will shop, shop, shop
To do our patriotic duty --
Spend our *****, *****, *****
For the oil.
For the oil, oil, oil, oil,
Oil, oil, oil,
For the gushing and the oozing of the oil!

Drafted 6/8/10, revised 6/14/10
Best read to the "tune" of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Bells"....with apologies to Poe for repurposing his meter scheme for a theme less cheerful!
Searching  Apr 2011
The Surf
Searching Apr 2011
Twisted reeds sway gently in the wind as black seabirds slice the sky overhead.
Waves rolling one by one crash with increasing ferocity on to the rocky beach,
And I watch the red sun set fire to the spray while  the tide encircles me.
Tugging at my feet, pulling me forward, it beckons for my consent. I give in,
And all is quiet even in such chaos. All is nightmarish and beautiful all the more.

The blood red horizon seers my retinas; freshly unleashed tears take to the sea.
These waves, such enormous swells, crash in on me; an unseen war is waging.
They press  me down and back, and then drag me further into the endless blue.
Over and over again, repetition loses count, my outcries die prematurely.
Only seawater and air manage to sputter from my lips, cracked and worn.

Not a whisper can be heard out here in such a true state of despair, but not all
Castaways are without faith. The past I once cherished has been lost to the depths,
Yet a knowing tingle in my gut keeps me searching for a message hidden merely
'Neath the surface. Drifting deeper into my pain, I notice a curious thing:  
The force of the waves lessening as I gracelessly surrender to Sorrow and the sea.

My feet torn by jagged rocks no longer felt, my eyelids blistered by the red
Eternal sunset, a few waves push me under before the siege of the sea falters and
I learn to ride the surf, taking each afront as it comes, whether predicted or
Suddenly upon me. My pain ebbs away slowly with the passing of each episode,
And with each wave I acknowledge my loss, relinquishing my burden.

Like so many desparinging hearts before me shipwrecked in the sea of tears,
I forcefully remind myself that one day the lush, inviting green shores of the
Other side of the sea will appear in my line of vision. Yet, for now, I let myself
Drift through the grief of grieving you, often unsure of whether I'm meant to float
Or should let myself sink toward the blackest crags of my mind. Here alone.
Copyright © 2011 Searching. All Rights Reserved.
I wish to go to Nova Scotia
And long to play in Breton fields,
Faraway and over the oceans,
For ever a bonnie soul shall lead.

I wish to row for Nova Scotia
And glide above the seas trembling,
Far beyond my earthly devotions,
Where ever a bonnie soul shall lead.

    I see long oars in every tree,
    In ocean swells, a boat for me,
    A lull of melodies in seabirds call,
    Beyond the wave is music and song.

I will follow a star to Nova Scotia
And suffer on seas of forgetfulness,
To play a fiddle with joyful Scotians,
For ever a bonnie soul has needs.

    I see long oars in every tree,
    In ocean swells, a boat for me,
    A lull of melodies in seabirds call,
    Beyond the wave is music and song.

— The End —