Tag Archives: sea poem

Poetry: Ghost Walk

We used to overturn rocks on the shore
and expose them to the belly of the sun.
I knew that some rocks should not be moved
but you picked them up to skip pebbles
and slice fountains in the sea
where they were lost
and you were satisfied
because yours had skipped the farthest
and the deepest
while mine grew steam in my palm.

Your hand in mine was sandpaper.
When you closed your fingers I was a bottled neck
with no wings flapping but the heartbeat
of one chipped stone against another.

read more at Cadence Collective

-Robin Dawn Hudechek

Premonitions and Stately Building

I hear the dead sea move
In my legs, waves overhead

Child, the wild jetty-walk
Man, the echoed illusion

Pure eyes in the woods
Weeping seek the hospitable head

-Nancy Naomi Carlson translating René Char, via Sakura Review

The Steeple-Jack

Dürer would have seen a reason for living
in a town like this, with eight stranded whales
to look at; with the sweet sea air coming into your house
on a fine day, from water etched
with waves as formal as the scales
on a fish.

One by one in two’s and three’s, the seagulls keep
flying back and forth over the town clock,
or sailing around the lighthouse without moving their wings –
rising steadily with a slight
quiver of the body — or flock
mewing where

a sea the purple of the peacock’s neck is
paled to greenish azure as Dürer changed
the pine green of the Tyrol to peacock blue and guinea
gray. You can see a twenty-five-
pound lobster; and fish nets arranged
to dry. The

whirlwind fife-and-drum of the storm bends the salt
marsh grass, disturbs stars in the sky and the
star on the steeple; it is a privilege to see so
much confusion. Disguised by what
might seem the opposite, the sea-
side flowers and

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The Light Keeper

A night without ships. Foghorns called into walled cloud, and you

still alive, drawn to the light as if it were a fire kept by monks,

darkness once crusted with stars, but now death-dark as you sail inward.

Through wild gorse and sea wrack, through heather and torn wool

you ran, pulling me by the hand, so I might see this for once in my life:

the spin and spin of light, the whirring of it, light in search of the lost,

there since the era of fire, era of candles and hollow-wick lamps,

whale oil and solid wick, colza and lard, kerosene and carbide,

the signal fires lighted on this perilous coast in the Tower of Hook.

You say to me stay awake, be like the lensmaker who died with his

lungs full of glass, be the yew in blossom when bees swarm, be

their amber cathedral and even the ghosts of Cistercians will be kind to you.

In a certain light as after rain, in pearled clouds or the water beyond,

seen or sensed water, sea or lake, you would stop still and gaze out

for a long time. Also when fireflies opened and closed in the pines,

and a star appeared, our only heaven. You taught me to live like this.

That after death it would be as it was before we were born. Nothing

to be afraid. Nothing but happiness as unbearable as the dread

from which it comes. Go toward the light always, be without ships.

-Carolyn Forche, Santa Clara Review, also published in The New Yorker

My Daughter the Sea

I am saltwater and undercurrents
and not nearly oceanic enough.
I break on these cliff-faces like waves
but I bend where the water would roar.
If I have a daughter I will tell her
to look past the role models presented
by society and take the sea into
her small round fists.
I will take her to the beach and show her
the depths and I will say, learn
to be unafraid like this. Be
what your mother could not.
Give support to the boats that will come
but have always the storm coiled
in your stomach. Show the endless
stretch of your carelessness to those
who are careless with you.
Seawater baby, sleep dreaming
of the Atlantic swell. Be the lapping waves
and the Great White Shark beneath them.
When you are hurt cry yourself
back into your skin. May the saltwater
always replenish your self-belief;
know that your landlocked mother
will always have arms to fit you into.
my daughter the sea | elisabeth hewer

Gulls, Too

Gulls sensing the fisherman
pulling the

fish from the nets.
This is how I mourned you.
Swimming to the cave, letting the birds
near me.

-Lisa Hiton, Cellpoems

Claim – For The Ocean

sea(sea by Shana)

We’re drunk by now
and even then you’re inside your own
head, floating, deciding what to surrender
to and what to leave submerged.
Once, on the island that made
me, the ocean was a ritual
too. I climbed mountains
in an old car in the middle of the night to make
love at its shores, to remember where I had
come from so that it might stay
with me where I was going. That night
the water came up; lapped at our bodies, furious
in the sand. We wept.
We filled
each other’s cups. We put the ocean
to our mouths. We drank.

from “Claim – For the Ocean” by Roger Bonair-Agard, Drunken Boat

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