Earth’s sphere of fire bids adieu to me
As dying embers gleam across the sea
In rare hues reflected by autumn trees,
Swirling in motion with October’s breeze.
I feel the joy this season has to share
In golden harvest that the branches bear,
And I am thankful for this blessed year,
For divine abundance I share so dear.
The sun and moon take on a special glow
As thunder clouds move swiftly with the flow.
Yes, autumn coaxes feelings to revive,
Those mem’ries of past seasons still alive.
When autumn spreads her dress of lacey frost
I know, in breathless beauty, I’ll be lost.
© 2013 Connie Marcum Wong
Again I shield my eyes from ocean's spray
While lifting eyes of hope to search the sea
But seas and skies are endless, troubled grey
My hope deferred; how often must it be?
I'd give my life to see him safely home
And all once more his windswept face to see
"And what," I ask, "compels my love to roam?"
But only wind blows keenly on my ear
While here I stand -- forsaken for the foam
My hope deferred gives way to tho'ts of fear
A ship alone, perhaps not still afloat
Yet still I wait, and hope he cometh near
A sail I see! and greet with hopeful smile
But hope deferred - must wait for yet a while
Based on Brition Riviere's painting, "Hope Deferred".
Such tender whispers waft on salty air
On foggy mornings waves are brushed in gray
I hear you then as winds caress my hair
Your murmur’s soft, but I know what you mean
The day will soon come when we live as one
You know I miss the sea scent in your clothes
Our earthly union – life had just begun
You asked for “waders;” I said, “What are those?”
On morns like this I put your waders on
Reach out and search in misty sea for you
The realms separate us will be gone
To vows we made so long ago, I'm true
My lover, teacher, mentor and best friend
The bond between our souls will never end
*This is an English sonnet
Entry for Debbie and Cyndi's Sonnet contest
Dedicate to my late husband
Written January 15, 2012 for Francine’s “4 forms, 4 themes” contest
Theme: Lost Love
As the men of the great sea carry me
Assuring them of safe travel on water
Courage and serenity are given free
Am restless anxiety adjuster
Feel so soft smooth as nestled in pocket
Look deeply into my pale blue colors
Ye men of wide sea who wear bluejacket
Those who my purpose are sure acceptors
How my healing powers strength your heart
Throat, spleen, immune system, mouth, ears, breating
Offering protection for journey chart
Constantly in your pocket safely abiding
Mental, emotional, physical
Aquamarine polished smooth possible alchemy
Written for Stoned Contest
Sponsor: Catie Lindsey
Contest had closed when posted
My Captain! Oh, my Captain! Captain, mine!
The sea, that wretched tempest rolled you deep!
She kept you from me squandering the time!
How long before you're free this vixen's keep?
Each day, in vain, I walk the roof top watch,
While searching the horizon for your sail.
At night, by lantern light, I touch each notch,
Where last you carved our names within the rail.
By candle light I read your letter sent,
About the journey's quest and your return.
How travasties and sickness unrelent...
But, still, your love eternal for me burns.
Tonight, upon the widow's walk I stand...
The moon reveals your footprints, in the sand.
~by deborah burch©
For "Debbie and Cyndi's Sonneteer's" contest
When the time arrives for me to depart
from the sunlit harbors of the living.
Take me aboard a navy fighting ship
and carry me back again to the sea.
Order the boatswain to construct a skid
made of wood and painted with fresh white paint.
Build it to hold a gray weighted coffin
draped by Old Glory with her stars and stripes.
Cruise the coast of my beloved home Whidbey
until full abreast with Ebey’s Landing.
Muster the funeral party astern
Play taps and slide me into the blue drink.
Let the storm-flecked waves of the rolling sea
take this old sailor to his final peace.
The night emits a citronella scent
From tiki torches topped with living flame;
I swim in circles -- softly speak your name --
While starlight washes over us, content.
Cicadas still sing secrets to the trees
Like Summer's heartbeat throbbing in the dark --
While on a new adventure we embark,
Sped onward by a silent, gentle breeze.
Your kisses ripple slowly down my spine --
Your touch is strong and steady, like the tide --
Warm bodies wrapped in motion dip and glide --
You turn the turbid sea to fragrant wine.
The rising moon gives witness to my cries;
Tonight I drown within your ocean eyes.
Sea horizon in the distance ...a clean line.... a quiet shore
Every day the ocean washes up something new on its sandy floor...
Today, the sea formed haystacks of seaweed piled quiet high
Yesterday sea sponges and fan-shells lapped the crunchy sands
Gentle humming of soft ocean sounds humms by to and fro
Seagulls squawking , flying in unison form a V- like kite formation
Their pale eyes widen as red feet and beaks hover and flutter
Two yellow labradors swimming and weaving from shore to ocean
Bounding gracefully into the water , chasing and jumping in unison
Tirelessly,effortlessly running along their beloved ocean shore.
Young dogs greet each other in an excitedly ,friendly fashion.
Horses hoof prints embedded gracefully in the shoreline sand....
Broken glass edges made smooth with the sands abrasion
Oh wonderful mobile reflecting the sunlights warm sensations!
On the writhing shoreline’s shifting sand
The thrust of the immovable hard land
Under the foaming white wedding dress of the ocean
Resolves their differences, puts their destiny in motion.
In endless rhythm of sheer strife,
The soft all-pervading giver of life
Swells o’er the sure-faced surface of her mate,
To and fro, in and out, in a perfect fit.
She shapes the hardness of the land and he,
Massively strong, just as surely shapes the sea :
The end of one is the beginning of the other -
On the shoreline - this father and mother
Share the task, create and shape
Each bay and bight, each coast and cape.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sonnet written by Sydney Peck 23 January 2012 for Francine’s contest.
Theme : lasting love
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
*This idea for this poem was ”inspired by”
( hi-falutin language for “stolen from” )
Andrea D’s LAND-OCEAN haiku. Thank you A D.
The Atlantic Ocean’s tide is ever flowing
I listen to it in my cottage by the sea
And at night so peacefully I sleep just knowing
I’ll hear it in the morning; it’s a guarantee
Few things in this life can be taken for granted
Perhaps only faith and nature’s constancy
But the sound of the sea is somewhat enchanted
Always offering a sense of serenity
I’ve chosen to dwell here for the rest of my days
It allows me to cast all my worries aside
There’s a hope in my heart these tides forever raise
A joy that erases every tear I have cried
The sea speaks of a power beyond that of man
A reminder that all things are part of God's plan
My love departs whence the waves tumble
to and fro o’er timeless grains of sand.
Mottled depths of sea drown out restless rumble
as fallen tears slip through my trembling hands.
Say my name, enchanting moon of lore.
I shall not fault you lest my love return.
Beckon tides to well and light restore.
Grant me this before my heart doth spurn.
Full moon cast reflections bittersweet
‘til sunrise blanches all my thoughts of yore.
If I fall prey to waking dawn’s deceit,
Please rise anew to carry love ashore.
Waiting heart shan’t drown in moonlit tide.
In raging surge, for love I shall abide.
For POETESS DARKLY's Blame it on the Moon Contest
Dark night cool waters beckons love come forth
As its lapping echos from shore to shore
Drawing waves kiss the sand and beg for more
Come, come love, listen intently thenceforth
Black waters viewed 'pon a cloudy blue night
Seagulls, pelicans have flown away home
Oceans waves offer up varied honeycomb
Lovers have kissed again and taken flight
The heart of the sea offers its repose
Enticing addulation 'pon the waves
Short visit somehow many hearts enslaves
Calling come as waves stir evening primrose
The heart of the sea beckons juxtapose
Melancoly spirit's thoughts now oppose
Sponsor: Poetess Darkly
Contest: Heart Of The Sea
Written October 13, 2013
How does one know, they're on the right path?
We all take our chances, let fate do the math.
Understanding is key, when things don't seem right.
I know I will see, someday see the light.
Positive I am, no matter what happens.
Sometimes I still cry, could you pass me a napkin?
Nothing is perfect, no, it never will be.
Life is unpredictable, compare life to the sea.
Sometimes it is calm, and other times so rough.
Stay afloat, get over it, swim under it, suck it up!
I’m wed to moon, a motif for romance.
A god, my grace by poets oft is sung.
Yet some who voyage my expanse by chance
into the briny depths of me are flung
by tempests or by quakes! I do not save
unfortunates. I reign but give free will.
Chained chattel cruelly cast into a grave
by tyrants - lie submerged within me still.
When *Kraken drags his victims ‘neath my skin,
like God above, I rarely interfere
but brim with salty tears for all that’s sin.
Now hold this token seashell near your ear. . .
beneath the echo of an endless swell,
hear souls whose grief one God alone can quell.
*Kraken is a mythical monster of the sea
Written by Andrea Dietrich
Motif is Nature, #7, but also a flavor of Gothic
For the "Impress Me" Contest of Giorgio V.
Soft seas beheld the ebb of evening’s dance
Arousing waves upon a satin shore
Resounding reassurances for more
Soft seas awaiting soulful lover’s glance
An endless tide of passion to explore
And time to drift amidst life’s vast expanse
While holding hands brings comfort still to chance
Soft seas awaiting lovers to restore
When set upon by minions of the storm
Soft seas will raise you high above the ground
When songs of sirens beckon to conform
Soft seas will whisper something more profound
When lovers’ sighs transform the cold to warm
Soft seas awaiting somewhere to be found
A weight bound tight inside of her prison,
Does no man acquire the strength that's due?
She sinks down deep as high tide has risen,
As her figure's swallowed by darkest blue
Resignating, do her lungs open so,
Oh, how she opens the gate to her death;
Crushed by the pressure, she rocks to and fro',
Not even with closure of one last breath
The waves crash above and smother below,
It was the blackest of waters she'd known;
Suddenly, pressure was letting her go,
And the most loveliest light was then shown
A pair of hands came for me, cold and wet;
Eyes upon me, and but a lovers set.
That morning on the beach, where did we go?
That June, before the current swept away
That thin island between the sea and bay,
Where did we walk, the risen sun still low?
Before the current swept away the land
And me along with it, where did we stride?
Next to the sea, the waxing, waning tide
Whose rhythmic jaws consumed the footprint sand?
We went nowhere that morning on the sand.
I stood and let the icy waves beat me
And hoped that they would pull me out to sea,
Far from this disappearing island.
Back then, I thought the sea would set me free,
But all it did was make a memory.
There's a westerly wind that sweeps down the shore
Riding roughshod, through the furrowed maze
Plowing the seas with a lofty oar
To justify each thrashing wave
Unwilling to pulse with calmer mood
Her temperament bodes malcontent
Unrelentingly, earnest, she herds her brood
And prods them along with grave torment
Rendering helpless, behind the spray
The sun watches with solemn round
While quivering waters define dismay
She holds long the seasonal sound
From the sphere of the dawn, into bold afternoon
She is schooled by the whims of the moon
9/15/13 For Poetess Darkly's Contest: "Sonnets of the Wind"
Atop the seas where mists descend and waves high meet
the flare of stars, that draw details where verses hang
and send enounced spring's sightly messages to greet
the Oxford skies of notte blue and eyes unsung,
splendiferous the ocean moons illuminate
above the passages of ships that mettlesome
advance beyond the skylines and scopes equate
multi-dimensional expand with diesels' thrum.
The nautilus become gray shades - in haze to wave
and colorful their messages on winds shall die
it is their voice in nimbus gray to fade and crave
the dancing layers of cold rains and winds' war cry.
Above the fields and seaward trips of compassed routes
on skyway paths the thoughts ascend and Oxford blues. .
© 05-10-2013, G. V., All Rights Reserved
(A hexameter sonnet)
The thought came to her seeing how the spring
Thaw was here with green patches of onion,
And few areas of spring grasses__now green
That the garden would need tending~ attention
And send her forth (into the sun) to plant
Vegetables, herbs, tend flowers of the hour
Roses, beauties, burgundy, soft brillant
Petals gentle between fingers, power
Scent that allures both man, woman to come
Enjoy this day in this pleasant garden
That draws butterflies, which lightly touch some
Drinks nectar, touches pollen, beholden
Spring with its beauty, warmth, outdoor pleasures
Can disregard work when one sees treasures.
Sponsor:What's In Your Garden? Old Or New
Meter: Iambic Pentameter
Written by: Sara Kendrick
Here we are, amidst
the roaring chaos,
Amidst the turmoil
of a sanguine sea
The wind has torn
your bones to white
And left your hearts
to the mercy of
And as the last
We shall persevere
with each failing
Behold! The Ocean's
Womb is wide open!
The Terror of the
Your wives shall
smile for your
courage is proven.
Let us strike the
waves with ardour
Only a tombstone
over the cliff
For Man had defiled
what was already
As tides roll in, persuaded by the moon
Your heart directs my journey to love’s shore
Harmonic lunar altitudes attune
And swirling waves join souls forevermore.
Amidst this cycle one thing I must mend:
As all too soon the sea recedes again.
My love lies weakened, distant at shore’s end
Until assured by pledge that you’ll remain.
But how am I to overcome this force
And stay steadfast, not washed away by tides?
I beg you ne’er allow me to change course
‘Til arms entwined adjoin where love resides.
So when the sea recedes then rejoins land
Our hearts will ne‘er subside; ’gainst tides we’ll stand.
I woke to hear the sound of flapping sails,
With rigging gently slapping on the mast.
How strange a sound I thought within the vales,
Where from my window pane, a ship sailed past.
So dreary was its visage as it sailed,
On weary waves across the eerie sky.
The sailors hid their tears and softly wailed,
When captain death swept past them with his scythe.
The reaper turning slowly looked my way,
With eyes that blackened out the very light.
He beckoned me to board without delay,
While claiming that my soul was his by right.
And as I prayed to God my soul to save,
I felt the creaking hull and rolling waves.
There is none faster to traverse the seas
Or stirring terror in hearts 'round the world.
Her sails as black as midnight steal the breeze.
This envy of the deep is called the Pearl.
She lies in wait near trade routes of the East
For loaded frigates bound to England's coast.
With Calcutta to Canton's cargoed feast,
They're pillaged, plundered, raped and put to roast!
Though, East India Trading Company,
Enraged by constant smuggling and the rut,
Fights harsh without success relentlessly,
The Pearl takes spoil and always doubled up.
It's midnight, Pearl, your hatches all dogged tight...
Horizon bound, more frigates yearn to fight!
For PD's contest:any poem
Aunt Eva was the “character” in our family tree
As a swimming teacher she had a great love for the sea
One summer day she was swimming nearly a mile offshore
When she heard something she had never encountered before
An angel’s voice told her, “Go back,” but this she did not heed
Then she felt a bump; something did not want her to succeed
‘Twas nothing but a playful dolphin that came into view
She continued swimming on, bidding the dolphin adieu
Suddenly she was surrounded by dolphins aplenty
When she heard the angel’s voice again, she surveyed the sea
A school of huge, man-eating bull sharks was headed her way
She started swimming rapidly, made it to shore that day
Although Aunt Eva was not one who would frequently pray
She thanked the angel and dolphins for steering her away
*For Gail’s “Touched by an Angel” contest
by Carolyn Devonshire, written March 17, 2012
True Story about my late Aunt Eva
Only if I could follow the sea,
Excursion of a lifetime spree,
Appreciate beauty of waters surround,
And drift along the tides spellbound !
The day I was lost in middle of the blue,
How faraway the land, had least clue,
Gathered courage of a buoyant swim,
When water filled the lungs to brim,
Uplifting waves had potential in store,
Threw me out of deep waters ashore,
Zest to thrive if in life is too high,
Even Deeper seas can touch the skies,
Nature plays turbulence to rise galore,
Positive attitude in life takes you furore !
Written on 6/7/14
Contest- Encore- anonymous positive new sonnet
Sponsor- Elly Wouterse
This pebble pounded by incessant seas
Lies smooth and satisfying in my hand,
So cool and comforting, it aims to please.
Deep in my pocket, far from sea and sand,
Its ovoid shape fits snugly in my palm.
I feel its surface – pink with orange band –
Its age and weight convey a sense of calm
Whilst through the weekend shoppers I would plough
In search of solace, found in Nature’s charm.
The tang of salt and sea is with me now :
The spirit of this ancient piece of stone,
Although I sit beneath this oaken bough.
This three ounce weight – a time machine, alone,
Aeon-enduring, outlives mere flesh and bone.
There comes a pirate ship a-sailing by,
Its shameless crew all wicked vagabonds,
They sail the seas where’re skull and bones fly,
From near and from far to the great beyond.
Each pirate marked by ink upon his back,
Will make their victims walk the deathly plank,
Their lost souls are blacker than any black,
To all the countless ships their crimes have sank.
Yet should a pirate ever fall in love,
He will treat his dame with gentle measure,
Such beauty his heart has nothing above,
Except, maybe, his lust for his treasure,
On movie screens pirate is wild and free
Not the feared nightmare found from history.
Form: English Sonnet
YOUR FAIR WEATHER FRIEND
Together we should sail uncharted sea
so if our ship is dashed on rocky slate,
we have no fear, but know that one of we
remains afloat, to save us from our fate!
And I would have you tredging at my side
if where I go is dark, through jungles deep,
so I'll be confident, although implied,
and not to worry much, when I should sleep;
But when I'm home, my fond and greatest need
is just to not be bothered by your kind
if you are diff'rent than what's from my seed,
then I'd not have you there, for me to find.
So if my sails are set where charts have shown
you sail your way, and I will sail my own!
Some rocks may crumble into lifeless sand
or drift like shifty grit beneath my arch,
while others face the elements and stand
as guards against the ocean's forward march.
Some rocks jut out; cut back in jagged spears
much like a corpse's silent, toothless scream,
while others flaunt and pose, with velvet ears
worn smooth against the angry water's stream.
Yet, all the while the savage ocean roars.
Above, the mist thins out and fades away
across the waves; a ray of sunlight pours,
where seagulls call and gather on the quay.
As songbirds sleep and fishes close their eyes,
God paints his rainbow wide across the skies.
Pisces, The Fish, Living Waters
Swimming in cool blue waters so deep
rainbow fish , so pretty the stars weep
Oceans filled with great hope and pride
on celestial waves greatness takes a ride
Constellations shining brightly to see
lights glowing in the past and future be
A sign to speed life on it's merry way
guiding our spirits into a future day
Neptune stands his mighty waters so well
holding back the monsters from deepest hell
Comets bring in the joy of desperate relief
washing away anguished pains of epic grief
In a bright galaxy so very far, far away
Seas of life exist, love and sweetly play
Robert J. Lindley, 07-12-2014
Sponsor Leonora Galinta
Contest Name , Poem with a Theme: Zodiac Sign
Morning Has Broken
The sea is flat and motionless shiny grey as a cannon
at a military museum Saturday afternoon, sun, storm
rain or storm will never bring life back to its surface.
The shoreline too is grey and there are tanks around
from a big battle that raged when a plane was shot
out of the sky; a world war began destroying dreams
of thousand years of peace. The strand of life is filled
with heaps of ashen bones and untold horrors.
On Morpheus´s wings I land softly outside a small
lemon hued house, enter and make a cup of coffee.
As I sip golden brew the colours are slowly returning,
the sky is summer blue with a few streaks of white,
remnants of night´s grief. Sun is yellow, so is straw,
but the olive tree is as green as the ocean used to be.
On the seawall the rocky jutting shore,
And white breasted gulls and shags flit the sky:
Yes, there was a time but not anymore
I gazed the stars over Whenuapai.
Crazed by liquid gold and pagan blunder...
Some Anglo-Saxon lass or native girl,
Or some legless dumb fool fallen under
Feeding the fishes with a mighty hurl!
Its dark undercurrents reminiscent,
And its depths of malaise I drank away:
But now my star glows less incandescent
Upon these springs of youth in beard of grey.
Wild affectation in tall tales telling
Ebbed into that lunar riptide swelling.
Pare' is short for Paremoremo - or "Parry"
Just north of Auckland, New Zealand.
Whenuapai - pronounced...fa-nu-a-pie
O mighty ship of tides, great boundless sea,
Into whom brave souls all caution cast her:
Deep eternal springs of mortality
Where Poseidon rules as lord and master!
See the battery smoke, the powder lighting,
The buckling oak, the breach, the ocean's roar:
Empire's keel and hull wave high smiting
The heroic galleon! the Man O' War!
So seek a fair wind all you seafarers,
Sail beyond her far isles all you brave hearts:
Heed Triton's trumpet by your endeavours
When upon the bow of her deepest parts.
Thus hearken not the sirens that curse whom
Rest in peace in a silent sunken tomb.
When my eyes weep, like glaciers in the sun,
And cheeks flush red like rusted coral rocks,
Will she be there at the end of the dock
To catch me when there’s no more planks to run,
Where waves slice like the wings of a raven-
Black blades that my broken heart cannot block-
That cast me in the voided ocean’s box,
A silent ink where life is birthed to none?
She will not appear in boat at the edge
Nor carry rope to fish me back to shore;
For she will, in white robe and open arms,
Seize me before I reach the first board’s etch,
Lay my head to her chest, and stop the pour
Of tears and storms, then breathe me her heart’s charms.
Teal titans stretch above the fray,
so sure they won't be swept away.
Like Aesops' ant, they don't prepare
for chilling end in winters' stare.
Their colors burst and start to run.
It hits them hard that life is done.
As drill-bit winds and fading light
Force feathered song to hasty flight.
Brisk crimson billows blot the street,
Then clot in brown piles at their feet.
The snap of bark, slim tendrils flail
as veins gone cold begin to fail.
Numb fingers scrape the windowpanes
to snatch what little heat remains.
From frosted windows' golden glows,
we cowards peek as each one goes.
They plea for help in eerie moans.
We can not help. They die alone.
Such public death, not for the proud,
White winds will wrap their silver shroud.
Their lesson stands for all to see-
Might we die too, with dignity?
But even more, they seem to say-
Be ready when it comes our way.
I saw the Sun and the Moon take a stance in the universe.
And an unknown Star placed over them was put in charge.
The whole entire inhabitants scattered themselves at large.
And all the lands and seas became separated by a diverse.
The Sun Shined brightly in the west never to set in a curse.
The Moon gleamed fully bright to the east as the surcharge.
The door had been widely opened and many came by barge.
The stress was great because the world went into a reverse.
Fate and destiny was being dished out like a deck of cards.
Skies lit up and the Stars came back out like never before.
And the palm trees took up to the seas like standing guards.
And from this stemmed growth from that one opened door.
The Sun and Moon are exalted above and beyond you all,
And so is the Star in charge of those that flaw in its thrall.
® Registered: Ann Rich 2008
Yellow meadows come into view
As the spring winds gently brew
Petals sway as if they are dancing
Luring insects of many in their passing glancing
Azure blue skies look down on the green
Whilst sporadic clouds, drift in and out of the scene
Gentle trickles of water from the winters snow
Meander through the meadows from the heights to below
A scent of anew wafts through the air
As i turn three sixty, all i can do is stare
All that i see is of beauty and free
These vistas of nature just fill me with glee
Inspired by Linda-Marie's " Softly Springing " poem
Seeing as how Georgia has mountains
That rise above the beautiful coast
Mountains gather snow some winter morns
Helen is quietly nestled there
Gold was found in those hills long ago
Still being mined today in Dalton
The blasts are felt at night__slight rumble
Gold awaits__the huge vein there they say
Down at coast awaits a day of play
Fun in the sun or boat ride on marsh
See the Dolphins greeting dance at river
Savannah Beach for a day or stay
Georgia has variety mountains high
Coastal plains____I can not complain
Created, desolated, resurrected and even in reverse,
You are a transformation under a Sun drenched day.
Beckoned or heralded you climb above a beaming ray,
Bristles of your hair shall glow and many are perverse.
Shuffled, hurdled, corner-stoned and even immerse,
You are a salvation upon a Mountain leading a way.
Stripped or naked you run below an endless cache,
Light inside of you shall outpour so all will disperse.
The collectors shall find,
Lost on a course in time,
Many stranded or behind,
Many with no unjust crime!
Jacked up, a ripped off, a maniac or just downright a true blue loon,
Still remaining is a red flaming shield up under a sacred desert Moon.
Inspiration: but most of all I like to see the morning happen . . . Richard Taggart
Beneath the sullen sky the shore lies still,
The pebbles huddled as the moon takes flight,
A cooling breeze whispers its airy trill,
While breaking waves recall another night.
The night we lay speechless upon the beach,
Fragmented eyes reflect our passion spent,
The ways of love that once seemed beyond reach
had come to the tune of the sea’s lament.
I heard you breathe within the ebb and flow,
As nubile fingers touched a gentle sigh,
And there, in that moment, we reached the sky
To see the sun reveal the dawning glow.
We saw it happen, we saw morning break,
As we lay quite still in the tidal wake.
Form: Australian Sonnet
New Year 2012
At last year’s New Year bash in the ballroom at the hotel, had two
hundred guests, this year 45 guests and the room was chilly and
had melancholic echo of yesteryears. A luxury liners’ last voyage,
ready to be chopped into bit and sent to the voracious furnaces
of China’s famished thirsts for steel.
And we, the 45, where stalwarts from bygone epoch the last of
a shrinking middle class. Too many waiters, too many cooks, they
knew what was coming next, the dole. Who needs a flat footed
waiter or a cook you can’t teach new tricks?
Twelve o’clock we toasted one another but our joy rang hollow in
the big room. The party was supposed to continue till four in
the morning as it had before, most guests left quarter past twelve;
I can only hope the crew, we dastardly deserted, drank the wine
ate food we left behind and had a proper wake.
On the river I saw the ripple give way.
It twirled and swirled until it broke apart.
One would stop and one would start.
Ripple by ripple they all sailed away.
Over the edge the Sun did set that day.
And it took with it my beating heart.
I saw layers and layers of charisma’s art.
I prayed I’d wish and I wished I’d pray.
By slits of silver shadows the Moon shed light.
Casting ripples here and ripples there,
One by one they fled from my sight,
Surprisingly more ripples did glare.
Ripple by ripple my eyes came to see,
A great white light shining upon me!
® Registered: Ann Rich 2003
I was corner-stoned by many of you.
The note was dotted with a dash.
But this note was an ultimate smash.
I found a peephole and peeped through.
I found a bird gave him the note and away he flew,
Across the deserts and the valleys he was there in a flash,
Across the rivers and Oceans he made a great big splash.
He made it to the shore, but the note he began to chew.
He passed a timely test,
And his belly was full,
He did not stop to rest,
The note he had to pull.
The bird landed on the Oceans shore,
Singing praises of his rugged chore.
I fell down to the bottom of every single Sea not just once but twice.
I scrambled onto my feet and fell all over myself time and time again
I was up and then went down until I felt this tingly breezy needy wind.
I stood up on two weakened knees eventually I’d plateau with a price.
Water wind fire earth and every metal made me the finest grains of rice.
I am dreaming of being a disbeliever in you so I stand in my self defense.
I marked me a stone and I gave it a name and only my voice will it hence.
Shattered was the Ocean’s floor and suddenly breaking in on thinner ice.
I was enthralled at its fear yet brazened in my heart,
I balanced the winds and now I am set on a mission.
Alpha is exact where or when my breaths of life start
I’m the latitudes and I’m longitudes rallying ignition.
Tomorrow will come just as now is gone so here again I must go,
Boundlessly rooted to be all of me especially when my kiss I blow.
To Gooney Birds
Shifting palm trees in sandy beach sunshine
Guard an immortal violet-blue lagoon
Gooney birds beg and dance all in a line
When they land it’s like watching a cartoon
As the ship is being refueled at pier
Steaks and beer on the beach with these strange birds
An island oasis it would appear
What I observed was truly beyond words
Sailors in various degrees of dress
Being chased and attacked by vicious foul
While steaks burned with cold beer we couldn’t care less
By sunset my shipmates began to howl
A bizarre lay over as you have read
We left at sunrise all with aching head
This Winters day the wind is whipping up rows of
turquoise white tipped waves pounding towards
an organic seaweed ladened haystacked shore.
White froth riding on marching parallell crests.
Five sailboats bending in a synchronised angle
slowly sail left towards the sturdy wooden jetty.
The sky painted in shades of cottonwool grey
carries the winds journey on the peaking sea.
The stinging sand dust carried by the wind
forms a fine powder vapour on the shoreline.
Such is the strength velocity of natures gale
but to seek refuge from the wind-lashed tide.
The wild wind intent on the ocean fades in notts
as we walk on the path leading to the main road.
A gentle, calm,serene lightly textured morning ocean
A still day without wind and barely a hint of a wave
Sand carved by a tractor leaves a steeper sand dune.
Smooth sea surface soft sounding sandy shores.
The tiniest of waves curl in a echoey glassy whisper
Laden with shells pebbles,red coral, rich with seaweed
A flat pale blue sea reaches out to a silhuette shadow
of a ship awaits in anticipation on the dark blue horizon
A grey warm windless sky greets the ocean hanging
sometimes darker sometimes lighter on the horizon.
Folklore says that souls of dead sailors are transformed
into pale -eyed, black wing tipped, red webbed seagulls.
I stand on the shore abundant with treasures of the sea
waiting looking out to sea hoping for my love to return.
Memories of a lonely sailor on liberty.
A swift flash of the wrist, "Eight ball corner."
Fresh brew, another cigarette, "Who's next?"
A little chalk, another new comer
Long drink, a fast break, the balls write the text
"Hey! Jam a couple quarters in the box!"
"Play some rhythm and blues for my soul."
Choose my prey from the alone, like a fox
"Rack ‘em up sucker, open your billfold."
”Another for my new friend. What's your name?"
Beer's good, game on the tube, bartender is nice
Passing the time by being in the game
Four ball in the side, "Gonna bank it twice."
A night on Hotel Street, in paradise
The most safe harbor for those of despise
To the Signalmen of the Watch
She is cool gray steel, slicing darkest sea.
Crewed by crazed youngsters, both man and woman.
Quiet and deadly, in following seas, free.
No light above, but the Moon and Orion.
Coffee, cigarette, red night lights aglow,
I, reading Conrad, lookouts are all set.
Only sounds of the sea and radio,
always watchful for contacts to be met.
She patrols her night box for rouge raiders.
Giant turbines in her belly turn with snap.
The night cook prepares mid watch cheese sliders.
Chaplain says night prayer, Boats plays taps.
She was built for fast work anytime or place.
I sit on watch, red light bathing my face.
As I close tight my eyes
my thoughts drift far away
to a place of sweet enchantment
where only you and I can play.
On a lush tropical island
we'll swim naked in the sea
of crystal blue waters
all alone you and me.
We'll relax on the beach
under the warm summer sun
getting tan and sipping wine
til the day is nearly done.
Side by side in a hammock
we'll hold each other tight
kissing and dreaming of
the love we'll make that night.
I'll feed you grapes of green
you'll fan me with a palm
how sweet the Pacific breeze
swirling round us so calm.
Pinks, purples, and orange
greet us on the horizon
as the summer sun's glow
makes way for the moon's risin.
We'll lay on a bed of palms
massage each other with oil
from our heads to our toes
O each other we will spoil.
I'll tenderly kiss your lips
you'll play with my hair
we'll gaze deep into our eyes
and get lost without a care.
Beneath the moon and stars
we'll make love with such delight
then linger in passion's ecstasy
long into the starry night.
We'll wake to the sunrise
with sweet memories to save
of our enchanted splendor
as each others love slave.
Like a huge serpent, its mouth opened wide
at dawn we approached, through fisher and boat
Slowly we entered a world with tide
the West had not seen, Siam’s royal coat
The smell of incense and sweet mossy shore
Beautifully adorned golden temples shine
Large ships moored amid stream both aft and fore
Making slowly for Bangkok, our whites fine.
Entering the crowded harbor we gaze
Anchor let go, the first since WWII
Liberty launch to shore all in amaze
Rushing ashore, things to come, not a clue
The kingdom of Thailand raises her dress
I leave this exotic jewel a mess.
The winter solstice, long and brisk
The wind chilled faces feel the breeze
All bundled up and on our way
The cold breaks in and makes me sneeze
The clear reminder of winter’s strength
The brightest sun set in the sky
But, yet it weakens me, at these times
And with each cold, I’m teary eyed
With scarf and cap, I’m wearing gloves
A zipped up coat, up to the chin
No matter how we fight the cold
In winter time, it always wins
One day I shall kill the cold
But for today it has its hold
With my hands forcing a wind beaten hatch
Out into a vast world of might and spray
Holding tightly to the storm lines I latch
Rain gear lashing against my frame, I pray
Mountains of water rising and falling
Wind screaming through man made tower of steel
Stagger dancing and towing, not walking
Salt water flies into my eyes, I shield
Finally, the hatch lever in my grip
Squeezing into the signal shack, dog tight
Safe inside, warm and dry, poncho, drip, drip
Blue water and spray extinguish star light
Night on watch, in a treacherous typhoon
The howling beast stalking my metal room
To lonely sailors
Lines of polyester, a sawbuck fare
My mates, a little tea, my plight set
Smokey guitars scream over bands of hair
Cheap, watered bourbon, endless cigarette
Round perch, watching the watchers, colored lights
Elbow nudge; take the wooden pipe, past on
Back in line, another drink, eye the sites
A new view, another hit, a bad con
Munchies, chili dogs and fries, the night's end
Walking, searching for the ride back to ship
Suspended in a party with no kin
Back in my rack, open eyes slowly slip
A night of liberty, nowhere to go
These times put a lonely sailor down low
It comes without warning
Like a fierce tidal wave
Rushing to swallow me up
And send me to my grave.
The anquish, the despair
Flood into my mind
I never see them coming
And no help can I find.
There is no safety net
Life jacket, or raft
To keep me from drowning
In it's destructive path.
There's a fight on inside
A battle I'll try to win
God, make my strength last
To fight the demons within.
For now it is dark
I'm all alone out here
Can't see what's coming
I'm blinded by my tears.
I'm treading water though
No drowning tonight
I'm exhausted from battle
But for now I've won the fight.
No one is ever aware
Of the huge, ugly storm
I set sail thru so often
Always in perfect form.
I wish I could tell all
The stories of my seas
But to speak them aloud
Would bring me to my knees.
The haunting memories
Always sailing so near
Come crash into me hard
Leaving me broken from fear.
But I do weather the storm
For a day, a week, or more
I may be weak and weary
But I've made it to shore.
My reprieve is temporary
I must repair the damage
For I fear another may come
Just as brutal and as savage.
Until then I'll fill each moment
Sharing all the love within me
For one day comes a shipwreck
That will vanish me in the sea.
To those who keep the seas free
They place themselves board tiny boats at sea,
floating alone, hoping for savior's mast.
Their homes overran by threshing V.C.
We approached, fearful faces were made fast.
Their hungry eyes looking upward for trust,
one by one we hauled them aboard, swing and hoist.
There were women, children, and old men, we must!
A tent city constructed, their tears moist.
We sank their boat when they were safe aboard.
Grenades to the hull and below she sank.
We sailed them to Hong Kong, for free room and board.
Leaving them, we knew for freedom they thank.
People seek out freedom from oppression.
My shipmates and I survive a lesson.
Across the brow and onto gray steel
with awkward salute, for duty I board
Smiles around deck from self perceived Salts peel
Soft the ensign flutters, "Welcome Aboard!"
Below deck I'm pointed to rack and home
A coffin by design, my gear is stowed
Adorned dungarees and white hat, I roam
Hatches and passageways deceive below
An opening, and alas sunlight peeks
Topside, above the bridge, to meet my mates
Every man sighs and gives pause 'fore they speak
The salt air and bright sun make my heart awake
A new sailor aboard with awe and glee
I enter with trust, a new life, the sea.
To those who have experienced the first time underway
All preparations made, standing in white
Waves and silent kisses from those who stay
Take in all lines! Whistle’s moan, tug lines bite
A slight movement, at last I’m underway!
Signal flags flutter, channel buoys made
Course set for the open deep blue, watch set
Strike below for chow, movie and the Spades
Watch wake at night’s mid, stars through Big Eyes met
Never before have I gazed such wonder
Unsteady gait acquires legs of the sea
Phosphorous fan parts the night fore yonder
The isle’s tiny lights shine like sparkling trees
My first experience with mother ship
A late night date and she picks up the tip
To those who have had to decide
It was early, that spring morning I fled.
Waving, crying, and mouthing I love you,
Mom and Sis standing there, the tears they shed.
Eighteen, young, naive, and without a clue
I would later learn to miss them badly,
while feeling melancholy on my own.
But now, the bus starting forward slowly,
my heart breaking, leaving them all alone.
I was so overcome with excitement,
not realizing that the life I had known
was now ending with that one commitment.
Nor thought I of the life they faced at home.
A painful decision young men must make,
life, or remain behind for other’s sake
To big guns and destroyer men
The alarm sounds like a dull clanging bell.
Sailors in their battle gear run for posts.
“Hatches are closed and zebra set!” we yell.
A surprise in store for Iraqi hosts.
The towers rose from the sea like islands.
They were made of steel, rubber, and plastic.
Arab men scrambling to flee in bands,
their boats speeding away, faces frantic
Big guns sound, blazing fire and metal fly,
metal islands reduced to flaming spires.
Retaliation ordered from the sky,
mission complete, we leave ocean afire.
Our first taste of battle went as was planned.
New sea stories to tell when we hit land.