Wednesday, May 13, 2015


We are discussing layers in writing poetry today over at - scratch the surface and there is more there -

When I was young and put my toe
in the sea, I felt
bantam waves warm and foamy,
like an extension of me
I had no words to describe it then
Each time I returned,
I had matured,
so I waded further,
feeling the undertow

I felt a thrill when I jumped higher
waves above my knees and then,
as they bumped against
my chest
Words like "cold, pulling, fear,
port and harbor, navigation
and bandoleer" came to me
My strong legs could withstand
the cantankerous tide's ebb and flow

I learned to catch a wave to ride
all the way in,
the moment to swim before the
swell broke into a
 long white ruffle
Now I could articulate what the sea
incited in me, its beauty, its draw,
its rushing to spread itself thinly
upon the outstretched sandy beach

The further out one adventures on
this graduating terrace,
the greater the cross currents each way
My ability to surf larger waves
let me see other horizons
The rolling sea of life,
its calm and its tempests,
waves that never cease

The sea awakened me
to a mystery - deeper and more
complex now is the study
Thus I write stories and poetry,
essays on nuances of what I see,
feel, touch and hear -
I sketch and paint the dangers
and joys of life,
its idiosyncrasies -
my observations of this living,
undulate, breathing
Delphic sphere


  1. i love what the sea has taught you... think we all have those moments in life when we grasp and understand something that has been hidden before and that kinda starts a flow of creativity and leads us along new paths

  2. A beautiful way to express growth.

  3. A very striking treatise on maturation, on recognition, on recognizing the "source"; my wife is like a mermaid, drawn to the ocean as often as we can manage. I was more a mountain man, still am, but now I'm probably a part-time merman as well. your shifts & layers work very well, producing both whimsical & profound philosophic gems; like the line /the rolling sea of life/. Getting us off, for moment the Great Wheel.

  4. Your love for the sea is palpable here - you weave the story of your life, your fascination with the sea, and your communion with it in a hypnotic tale.

  5. When I was young and foolish, I jumped into Lake Erie about ten miles off-shore. At one point, I felt the cool water draining the life away from me - there was no malice in it, or no fear on my part - just the awareness that this too was a path. I don't jump off sailboats anymore.

  6. Life is full of a bit of both the shadow and the light. We take what comes, like the waves. And experience teaches us to ride larger ones and sometimes it takes a bit of fearing that we will drown.

  7. Ah.. we humans with gilled structures not fully formed in development have ancestral home in seas of oceans.. and so lucky are we to still live close to the salt water that still flows red in our veins of life.. as the rivers flow to the ocean of life as well.. and yes 90% of human populations still live relatively close to some body of water.. as after all 90% of humans are constituted by water as well of life..:)

  8. From the tiny white wave to catching a wave to ride to shore - wonderful! Growing up in the ocean, the source...your love of the sea just sings in this. the swell broke into a long white ruffle...I so enjoy this line. I can see and smell the ocean just by this line. Beautiful rich poem.

  9. I love this.. such a great tribute to the sea. .the waves and the beaches.. what we can learn if we just listen.. I really feel like go out the sea if I didn't feel so cold shy and scared.

  10. A gorgeous tribute to my favorite thing on earth. Beautiful blog, too.

  11. I really enjoyed reading about your relationship with waves. It really does take an adventurous spirit to go further and further out. I was always a bit afraid of waves and never ventured out all that far...smiles. There definitely is mystery in the sea, something that can awaken one's spirit. Your poem really gave a sense of that. By the way, Poets United Midweek Motif has the prompt 'waves' going on right now. You might be interested:

  12. I like the connection you have made between the sea and life and expression. This is beautiful.

  13. Your intimacy with the ocean is amazing (and respectful) relationship developed over time. I like the word "bandoleer" and image of "long white ruffle". I can hear the surf, taste the salt...

  14. The ocean is full of mystery. I enjoy the beach, water and sand. Riding the waves in the journey of life starting with that first step. Learning to swim in the sea of life one stroke at a time. I truly enjoyed reading this poem. It brought back memories.

  15. Beautiful images of the sea and maturing. I love the sea :)

  16. Oh the sea shores have always been my favorite and you have the idea developed in layers - I enjoyed that so much. Sorry, because of the time difference, I am struggling to return visits. Hope you are doing good Kathy....


All comments, constructive and otherwise, are welcome and appreciated here. Thank you to those who show an interest in my quirky style of writing, photography, painting, and presenting a feeling or thought and for stopping by A Dwelling by the Sea..