Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
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
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
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.
Barnaby Atkins Aug 2015
Home, alone
And undisturbed
Rain trickles, down the window
The sound of yapping bird

Silence, Incense
All seems to make sense
The goals I have set
Reflecting on this world

My Being is right
With words, I write
A feeling so Profound

That finding, true meaning
In day to day reading
Helping me find the ground
Seán Mac Falls Jun 2012
I took a walk with my love,
From Bray to Greystones.
Sharing smiles as we talked 
Under a rainbow.

And the clouds rolled in 
And the wind sprinkled rain,
Our path was etched in stone,
Along Erin's coast.

I took a walk with my love,
From Bray to Greystones.
Time unwent as we strolled
And dreamed of nowhere.

And the clouds rolled in
And the wind sprinkled rain,
Wild rushes and reeds so tall
They sheltered our way,
We moved through the day,

And suddenly,
We were two seabirds gently flying
And our souls
Were laid to rest, on the breath of heaven.

We devoted our lives,
Felt as one our spirits rising toward the sun,
Peacefully, so peacefully
And the Earth,
We felt her deep,
Undersong.

I took a walk with my love,
From Bray to Greystones.
Sharing smiles as we talked
And dreamed of nowhere.
We dreamed of nowhere.
DeeDeeK Feb 2013
ocean, sky, horizon blurred, seabirds call into infinity
time stands still on the edge of forever
capturing stardust and spinning into oblivion
existence is but fleeting
cast your heart into the great unknown
PalominoOasis Apr 2012
Wind
Is
Blowing
Waves
Crashing
Seabirds
Soaring
In
The
Sky
© PalominoOaisis
April 19th, 2012
Scarlet McCall Dec 2016
By the pond, where the egret sleeps,
where the hawk flies overhead,
and the weeping willow weeps,
I will find my lullaby, to lull me to sleep.

By the pond, where the ducklings go,
back and forth, to and fro,
following mother, grey fuzz, all in a row,
I will walk unhurried, slow.

By the pond, on the grassy banks,
I will hum a tune under a cloudless sky.
Pass by the blue heron, and silently give thanks,
and while away the hours, and watch the seabirds fly.

By the pond, where the white swans glide,
I will shade my eyes from the sun’s bright rays,
as otters frolic, swim and hide,
unmindful of time in these last days.
Brian Oarr Jul 2012
.                                I.

The sand is perfect ripples undulating to the bay,
as the 6:00 A.M sun flashes open a sulfur-eye,
yawns and apologizes for its January warmth.
She emerges her tent, much as she has entered the world,
naked, but filled with wonder and an attitude.
The glassy water winks her an invitation,
morning's blank canvas beach
etched only by random footprints of seabirds.
Taking advantage of the serenity,
haltingly slipping between the waves,
her skin bristles, subsumes cool ocean freshness,
surfboard bobs obediently at her side.

                            II.

On this planet we have friends, who
pose no questions and pass no criticisms,
who the more they trust, the less
we can afford to make a mistake.

                            III.

Like a pat of butter skimming a hot pan,
she lolls blissfully on the board, soaking up scenery,
heedless to the approach from the rear,
yet, sensing she is being watched.
Dorsal fins break the water's surrounding skin,
as a pod of bottlenoses dance and play,
pretend to be oblivious, as she floats within their sights.
Their presence startles, still, she quietly observes their folly,
willing them to come ever closer ...
Her outstretched hand beckons them to
circle with puppy-like curiosity.

                            IV.

Arguably, the perfect couple is a mother and child;
babies do more to females than make them mothers,
they bond them in a sisterhood of knowing recognition,
to which others need not apply.

                          V.

Coriolis swirl of scarred dolphin bodies evades inquiring fingertips,
eye of the alpha-female fixed intently on the floating visitor,
who in turn looks back in shared wonder ---
between two mothers of the Earth, a psychic trust is formed.
The bottlenose rolls a streamlined fusiform body,
revealing  a smaller version of her own,
tucked safely against her white underbelly.
The sun was racing Apollo's arc, as they silently
slipped beneath the plane and were gone.
She knows they've been fending off shark attack,
wishes for a way to fend off trawlers with gill nets.
A singled tear rolls down her cheek,
trickles off the board to merge with salty blue beneath,
reaching compassionately for her sister in the sea.
This is the true life story of the talented Australian poet Rachel McManis.  I was honored to assist her in writing this piece.
Narayan Mar 2013
I sleep on the green grass watchin the blue sky..
So wen i fall asleep i can dream that i can fly..
they say we see wots there in our field of vision..
but i believe we can see beyond that in our field of dream..

i wonder where do the stars go during the day..
They go to sleep when the sun is all gay..
N guard us all through the night..
So we can sleep tight without fright..

in one lost morning i woke up with caress of sunray..
silehoutted by the fragrance of morning far from reach of day..
I felt lighter free from sorrow..
I wished if there were no tomorrow..

i stretched my arms wide to draw the morning air into my sleeping lungs..
Surprised by the white feathers flying around me as they show in the songs..
calling me to chase them in the wind n collect them inside my books..
But that night i dun remember dreaming eagles n hawks..

i tried to walk but i felt as if i'm floating..
Am i sleep-walking or jus pretending as boating..
I looked back n almost had a heart attack when i see i had two big wings..
Am i superhero or the sultan of swings?

i ran and ran so no1 cud see me in these forms..
i knw they hav just watched x-men returns..
I climbed up the cliff all day and night as they do in lord of the rings until they die..
I am at the top, is it where the body catches a body coming thru the rye?

i cud see the ocean falling in love with deep blue sky..
Is it the place where the pink floyd first learnt to fly..
Is it the neverland to where jhonny took kate's children?..
Is it the new matrix sati made for neo for his return..

i decided to fly so i jumped off the cliff..
it felt as if i m moving through great barrier reef..
Windswept fields n ever-flowing rivers..
No navigation but i followed the migrating seabirds..

above was the albatross below everything was submarine..
tides jumped high to touch n pull me in..
The echoes of tides made me feel the beaches were not yet encroached..
The silent love between land and water was not yet reproached..

After the sea i flew over the cities..
suspended animation what they call it is..
wondered how big buildings look like small boxes of dough..
Learnt, everything seems small if u rise above enough..

then i cud see black rings of smoke..
Somewhere below river was black as coke..
I cud see people gathered in dark houses planning wars..
People restricted from their happiness behind the bars..

i thought i wil b the guardian angel to save the world..
What should i do? Whom should i say? Should i carry a sword?..
No i wudnt i always hated violence..
I wud rather fly back to the cliffs for peace n silence..

then i took the u-turn n flew as fast as i cud to never return..
How long shud i run away from the place i was born?..
Went back to the cliff i started to scream..
After u dream of waking up, u never know u r still in a dream!
Marshal Gebbie Mar 2011
As a maddened beast it charges
Emanating with expanse
Brute techtonic plate reaction
From the epicentre’s stance.
Huge concentric rings diverge
Expanding at horrific rate
Black, titanic, towering waters
Ploughing to a deadly fate.

Kneeling in her bed of roses
Pollinating bees abound,
Morning sunbeams kiss her shoulders
Peaceful garden bliss surrounds.


Surging to the coastal shelf
The black gigantis rears on high
Claws toward the placid beach
Seabirds scatter to the sky.
Tide receds to bare the reef
Stranded mackerel whitely leap,
Enormously the massive wave
Attacks the land and they who sleep.

Death comes fast to they who loiter
Violence in the tangled purge,
Massive pressures, crushing debris
Broken buildings in the surge.
Ships and cars are tossed asunder
Inexorably it slams
Far inland to slay those fleeing
Locked in highway traffic jams.

Strange roar at the garden wall
Terrified, she finds her feet,
Roses, bees, sweet girl engulfed
As black entombedment swamps the street.


Far inland the chaos flows
Wreaking death's destructive bands,
Halted now by highland hills
Where souls in horror, wring their hands.
Slow retraction leaving ruin
Desolation far and wide,
The smell of new death in the air,
Heartbreak in the countryside.


Marshalg
For Nippon
18 March 2011
High up above the open, welcoming door
It hangs, a piece of wood with colours dim.
Once, long ago, it was a waving tree
And knew the sun and shadow through the leaves
Of forest trees, in a thick eastern wood.
The winter snows had bent its branches down,
The spring had swelled its buds with coming flowers,
Summer had run like fire through its veins,
While autumn pelted it with chestnut burrs,
And strewed the leafy ground with acorn cups.
Dark midnight storms had roared and crashed among
Its branches, breaking here and there a limb;
But every now and then broad sunlit days
Lovingly lingered, caught among the leaves.
Yes, it had known all this, and yet to us
It does not speak of mossy forest ways,
Of whispering pine trees or the shimmering birch;
But of quick winds, and the salt, stinging sea!
An artist once, with patient, careful knife,
Had fashioned it like to the untamed sea.
Here waves uprear themselves, their tops blown back
By the gay, sunny wind, which whips the blue
And breaks it into gleams and sparks of light.
Among the flashing waves are two white birds
Which swoop, and soar, and scream for very joy
At the wild sport. Now diving quickly in,
Questing some glistening fish. Now flying up,
Their dripping feathers shining in the sun,
While the wet drops like little glints of light,
Fall pattering backward to the parent sea.
Gliding along the green and foam-flecked hollows,
Or skimming some white crest about to break,
The spirits of the sky deigning to stoop
And play with ocean in a summer mood.
Hanging above the high, wide open door,
It brings to us in quiet, firelit room,
The freedom of the earth's vast solitudes,
Where heaping, sunny waves tumble and roll,
And seabirds scream in wanton happiness.
Nigel Morgan Sep 2012
I shield my eyes
against the glare
and see the lighthouse
far distant
stand *****
beside the sleeping sea
the tired strand
where seabirds wade
children play and
parents guard their
moves and makings
. . . at my feet
the detritus of time:
tide-gathered wood,
salt-stripped,
sea-stained yet
polished by restless
turn and tilt
of the absent moon.
This is a further poem from my song cycle Pleasing Myself based on textile images by Janet Bolton.
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.
Marshal Gebbie Nov 2009
Wide, grey waters rolling in
Invisibly it flows
Like a spreading carpet over mud
Inexorably it grows.
Created by a lunar force
And global winds at play,
Twice each day the tides do surge
To crest and flow away.


Twice each day the tide rolls in
To cover shoals of sands
And beds of oysters, muddy brown
With squirting water glands.
And twice each day the seabirds flock
To alight on draining shores
To harvest succulents and *****
And other tasty mores.


Oyster pickers congregate
In flocks of white and black
Red beaks plunging deeply
In green pastures for a snack.
Amazingly, they all take flight
A thousand beating wings
Which heel about collectively
Inking out all skyward things.


A thousand, million wavelets play
Across the level span
Pursued by wind’s relentless glove
In a patterned, surging plan.
And each reflects a kiss of light,
Each wavelet in the run
Collectively illuminate
Like diamonds in the sun.


Above the waves the seagulls ply
In corridors of air
In squadron flights of symmetry
To weave and wheel with flair,
Their raucous calls at distance
The poetry of sound,
In tidal terms, a symphony
Of seaward things profound.


The haze at the horizon
Of salt spray in the air,
White ,crunchy shells on beaches,
Pohutukawa’s everywhere.
A feeling of things tidal
In a lazy, salty way,
And enjoying the quiet beauty
Of this lovely, coastal bay.


Marshalg
@ the Gate
Mangere Bridge
4th March 2009
Kenn Rushworth Jan 2019
He had a cacophony of seabirds,
In the attic of his mind,
In the loft of his skull,
Telling him:
What not to do,
What not to do,
What not to do.
madness seabirds skull mind
Seán Mac Falls Jan 2014
I took a walk with my love,
From Bray to Greystones.
Sharing smiles as we talked
Under a rainbow.

And the clouds rolled in
And the wind sprinkled rain,
Our path was etched in stone,
Along Erin's coast.

I took a walk with my love,
From Bray to Greystones.
Time unwent as we strolled
And dreamed of nowhere.

And the clouds rolled in
And the wind sprinkled rain,
Wild rushes and reeds so tall
They sheltered our way,
We moved through the day,

And suddenly,
We were two seabirds gently flying
And our souls
Were laid to rest, on the breath of heaven.

We devoted our lives,
Felt as one our spirits rising toward the sun,
Peacefully, so peacefully
And the Earth,
We felt her deep,
Undersong.

I took a walk with my love,
From Bray to Greystones.
Sharing smiles as we talked
And dreamed of nowhere.
We dreamed of nowhere.
L Curley Dec 2012
Freckles make your back a map
Seabirds circle but they lack
Grasp of what youth endures
Vacating summer shores
Carrying their lives to sea.

Mechanically they return
For bright months they did not yearn-
Only their homecoming retells
Of warmth and hope in summer spells
Of ploughed soil, banked country roads
And feathers bent not under loads;
Put-to-side partners reconcile,
Their lives measured in sea miles
Time comfortably slipping away,
Together living easy days
Until they fly on.
SE Reimer Sep 2016


i stand before this kneeling bench,
no sanctuary of our making;
its walls here open thrown,
on stained glass windows found
strewn upon the sand,
its tide-washed, polished glass,
my feet find holy ground;
my sandals left at driftwood door.
incense burns upon the wind,
its salty spray is mingled,
with my own upon
these joy-stained cheeks.
the worshippers that went before
have built a temple out of wood,
hewn, untouched by human hand,
a steeple to the sky is lifted,
and within its shelter,
remnants of a ring of fire,
smoke once lifted to the
heavens by believers true;
this church i see through salted eyes,
this scape awash in teeming life,
here i drink this living wine;
its ebb, its rush, its living in
each moment without need,
to connect each dot, or even speak.

i long to live at razor's edge,
where sands and tides collide;
the rocky shoals where dungeness,
find sustenance and shelter;
the coves where seabirds feed their young,
above the sandstone cliffs;
the bar beneath a setting sun,
in flames awash in waves;
find comfort ‘neath
the storm-shaped pine,
feel longing in the stinging air.
these cheeks that weep,
though want of tears,
not in sorrow mind you,
but in joy of freedom,
the lure of siren alter call;
of a close horizon on a misty morn,
the haunting breath of orca,
just beyond my sight;
the bark of ocean’s lion,
the roar of distant waves;
with these my prayers i send,
as i offer this my praise;
this church of no man’s making,
here i come for cleansing,
to breathe the life that i am given!

~

*post script.

by nature we are spiritual creatures;
spiritual... not religious.  reading your
sea-scaped prose inspires me; planning
changes in my own life even more so!!
it is said that we return to what we know
best... the ocean calls...
CA Guilfoyle Jun 2016
Pink iridescent moon
shadows cast upon the sands
of endless moving seas, of broken shells
feathers and bones of seabirds we've loved so well
together we are tied by swaying seaweed ropes
our souls ever ebbing us toward home
to see the possibilities, endless in our lives
to let ourselves be wild, allowed to float
feel the arriving tide, the unwavering ocean
always willing, always letting go.
Chris D Aechtner Dec 2012
Memories of the North Sea
sift in like sand kernels
on a fast, frigid tide:
events that transpired outside
the confines of rhyme,
unfolding exactly
as they were meant to.

Never before had I seen
so many shades of gray;
the overcast, monochromatic splendor
was awe-inspiring,
instead of being bleak and bleary.
_

The smell of salt and seaweed
awakes something dormant and eternal,
deep within me.
I have a surging desire
to flush stagnancy from my blood—

salty blood and water
come together in a communion
of distant relations and movements.

Beside me, a flash of bright red
digs in the sand; my child
is wearing the only vibrant colour
to be seen for many kilometres.
The colour matches her
enthusiasm and energy,
as she moves from one spot to the next
like a dancing flame;
reflected, a fire glows from my eyes.

Unknowingly, I had dressed
in the same colours of the sky and sea,
blending into the scenery
like a chameleon:
an illusion thicker than the clouds;
an illusion of stone
for me to melt and reinvent
at the spinning speed of thought.

I watch my daughter
drink the seascape with a smile of wonder;
it's her first time visiting an ocean.
With our pants rolled up to the knee,
we wade through waves,
and collect stones and shells.
She knows the chameleon
who walks alongside her in the frothy surf.

Observing seabirds cover the steep cliffs
of the island located further out,
in a blanket of black and white feathers,
I wonder if people onshore
only see a solitary dash of red out here,
or if the chameleon
is more noticeable than I had thought.



2012 North Sea Remix
December 17th, 2012
Ian Boyd Jan 2012
Somewhere seabirds pipe and bleat,
gathered on a dark low tide.
Shapes and shadows line the fleet,
cold and calling.

In the shore hide facing north
I'm focussing black ten-by-forties,
hunched against the wall for warmth;
the tide still falling.

Looking out, I'm looking back,
thirty years have ebbed away;
the boy, his joy, his haversac,
his notebook scrawling;

I see him, tremulous, wild-eyed,
among the plovers, curlew, knot,
a loosed dog shakes them and he flies,
the seawall salt sting cuts and dries;
there's no recalling.
Dhaye Margaux Oct 2014
Footprints
Long ago -
     can't hold

Warm water
Yesterday-
       now cold

Clear sky
In the past-
      it's gone

Dreams made
Not alone-
     undone

Seawall
Once that strong-
      Broken

Seabirds
Together-
      unseen

Two hearts
Believing-
        asking

One love
Forever-
         hoping
At the sea of love...
Seán Mac Falls Feb 2017
( Sonnet )*

I once caught you naked by the sea,
No one noticed, such noble shyness,
Invited to worlds, aloof as sun breeze,
Of purple sands, heathered highness.

In novae of your eyes was shipwreck,
Forlorn beacon chiding the weary lost
Of new worlds lumbered on the decks,
Seabirds caroled up wing, heavens' loft.

Skin, fleshy of netted eel, salt and foam,
Was hide for a brigand, lubbers sessions,
Sheered by sheen, blinding sky of gloam,
Stars runged on their draped processions.

My seal, now fate, cloak within jubilance;
Coral sea wave, slips under moon dance.
In Celtic myth, if a man steals a female selkie's skin she is in his power and is forced to become his wife.  Female selkies are said to make excellent wives, but because their true home is the sea, they will often be seen gazing longingly at the ocean.  Sometimes, a selkie maiden is taken as a wife by a human man and she has several children by him.

Selkies (also spelled silkies, selchies; Irish/Scottish Gaelic: selchidh, Scots: selkie fowk) are mythological creatures found in Scottish, Irish, and Faroese folklore.  Selkies are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. The legend is apparently most common in Orkney and Shetland and is very similar to those of swan maidens.
.
Brittany Danzig Dec 2011
I've been floating in the sea,
Marveling an empty sky,
Bobbing up and down through waves unbound,
Towards an elusive horizon.

No sharks try to pull me down,
No seabirds help me fly,
No boats stop to pull me out,
But no one's left me abandoned.

I don't know how I got here,
Or what I'm meant to do,
Perhaps I'm supposed to float,
Maybe I'm just here out of the blue.

Rather quaint in size,
Compared to the composite surface,
This liquid surrounds me,
But it's motives are dispersed.
Travis Green Dec 2018
I can hear the vibrant sounds of seabirds
soaring in the air, the angelic sun shining
so beautifully across the skyline, soft
puffy clouds of magnificence, a mansion
of perfection, thick pine trees glowing
in eyesight, as I watch the pulsating pond
outside my home.  

I can feel the warm water soaking my feet,
the flowing breeze wrapping around my body,
reeling me int pure sweetness.  

And as I inhale the rich air, the many colorful
seashells scattered across the beach, the earth
and sky hovering over me, this place is everything
that I ever dreamed it would be.
Sydney Victoria Mar 2014
A Sky Of Melted Butter,
Harbors The Setting Sun,
Suspending It Above,
Flustered Waves Of Blue

I Smell Like The Sea

The Sails Against The Sky,
Have Turned To Silhouettes,
The Gentle Waves Caressing,
The Edge Of The Horizon  

I Taste Like The Sun

Seabirds Have Flocked Together,
And Are Now Flying Back To Shore,
Slumber Has Teased Their Eyelids,
For The Jaded Waters Are Vast

I Look Like The Stars

The Moon Has Floated Upwards,
Casting An Ivory Shadow Below,
The Wind Has Now Become Calm,
The Blue Waves Have Become Still

I Sound Like The Breeze

The Salt Encrusted Wind Cooled;
The Sky Was No Longer Gold,
Sails No Longer Dragged Their Cargo,
Across The Blackest Of Ocean Waters

If You Were To Touch My Soul,
You Would Only Grasp A Word.


Home

*© Sydney Victoria 2014
I Have Pondered About The Word Home Many Times In My Life. I Oftentimes Grasp The Concept Of Home When I Feel As If I Have Escaped Into Another World, One Where I Truly Belong. When I Went To South Africa, I Found My Home.  At Heart, I Think I May Be African.
Marshal Gebbie Jan 2011
Thou spinster of the silken night
Why slide beneath that sylphen cloud,
Why hide the blush of pallid cheek
To mask your secret smile in shroud ?

Pale crescent love of velvet void
A vivid splash of pinprick gems,
Suspended in black solitude
Such  beauty midst celestial friends.

Lovers kiss beneath your spell
Hand in hand they stroll the lane
Garlanded in silver light,
Ensnared within your crescent’s reign.


Thou siren voice doth wax and wane
These very oceans sing your song,
As seabirds ply your ebbing tides
And global winds blow clear and strong.


Lunar light threads through tree boughs
Casting lurid shadows bare,
Causing wolves to crouch and howl
At living, moonbeam shards in air.


Oh sister of the silent night
Feel the haunting call of owl,
Scan the forest’s shadowed light,
Gild the snow clad mountain’s cowl.


Thou spinster of the silken night
Rest thy secrets in thy soul,
Fade as shadows blend  to day,
Relenquish all to sun's control..



Marshal Gebbie
Victoria Park Tunnel
14 January 2011
Al Drood Jul 2019
Upon the headland is my place
where seabirds wheel and turn apace,
a-screeching windblown tales to me
of distant lands and distant seas,
of sparkling beaches, gleaming quartz,
of strangers and of foreign ports,
of shark and serpent, kraken, whale,
of ships that foundered in the gale,
of sunken vessels, bones picked clean,
of hagfish writhing and obscene,
of ocean currents, plankton’s bloom,
of those that spawn beneath the moon,
of coral reef and rainbow hue,
of lava and volcanic flue,
of devastating waves and tides,
of those who lived and those who died,
Yet little does this mean to me
as I stare silent out to sea,
where seabirds wheel and turn apace,
upon the headland is my place.
Torin May 2016
You are the weather of my soul
My fingers are trembling ships racing
Trying to reach an island
Where the seabirds play
In the light of a never ending sunset
Why now,
Are the storms raging silent?!
That I can see the tumultuous lightning
And feel the rain as it pounds onto my skin
But the gutteral growl of thunder
The instinct imparted from the crackling sky does die
And my ears listen to the sound of the beginning
My greatest fear
Silence
When there was nothing at all
And nothing again
In the end

You are the weather of my soul
The way a humid ninety-degree day invites the rain
And my fingers are song birds flying
Trying to reach the nest
A place to call home
My songbird fingers
Your skin
I can feel your pain
Still
I can't hear your voice
Silence is my greatest fear

Oh, my jaded love
My sunshine day
My storm
Encompassing me
My flood
Silence is my greatest fear
So talk to me!
Even if what is said
Is nothing I want to hear
You are nothing more than everything
The weather of my soul
My love
And even if its raining stinging drops of violent pain
Where you are
I want to hear it
***
Seán Mac Falls Apr 2015
( Sonnet )*

I once caught you naked by the sea,
No one noticed, such noble shyness,
Invited to worlds, aloof as sun breeze,
Of purple sands, heathered highness.

In novae of your eyes was shipwreck,
Forlorn beacon chiding the weary lost
Of new worlds lumbered on the decks,
Seabirds caroled up wing, heavens' loft.

Skin, fleshy of netted eel, salt and foam,
Was hide for a brigand, lubbers sessions,
Sheered by sheen, blinding sky of gloam,
Stars runged on their draped processions.

My seal, now fate, cloak within jubilance;
Coral sea wave, slips under moon dance.
In Celtic myth, if a man steals a female selkie's skin she is in his power and is forced to become his wife.  Female selkies are said to make excellent wives, but because their true home is the sea, they will often be seen gazing longingly at the ocean.  Sometimes, a selkie maiden is taken as a wife by a human man and she has several children by him.

Selkies (also spelled silkies, selchies; Irish/Scottish Gaelic: selchidh, Scots: selkie fowk) are mythological creatures found in Scottish, Irish, and Faroese folklore.  Selkies are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. The legend is apparently most common in Orkney and Shetland and is very similar to those of swan maidens.
Grace Sleeman Feb 2017
the biggest change is the sea

i was born from it;
lived with its salt in my hair
on my skin

the town where i grew is drowning in the atlantic
the cries of seabirds echoing through empty streets
everything softened and weathered
by the salty sea-fog rolling in

i used to think it was suffocating
the permanent scent of the sea on the air
the buoys always clanging in the early morning
echoing across the glassy water

but i can tell the difference immediately
the day i move
the air is heavier

there is no sea-salt twang to the wind
only the flat breath of inland
mother earth doing her best with what she is given

and until i drive out to the lighthouse
at dawn
and breathe in the sea air
standing on the edge of the world

my skin feels the salt and relaxes
back to where i came from

ashes; ashes
dust; dust
salt; salt

— The End —