Beach Poetry

Yesterday my family and I spent an afternoon at the beach. It was the first time I’d been there this summer. This may sound ridiculous, living as close to the ocean as I do, but I protest: I’ve been writing a book.

I love the ocean, even–maybe especially–when it’s overcast and silvery, like yesterday. It’s the perfect place to rest and read in the warm sand. Or to walk and think to the rhythm of the waves. And to write poetry.

Because the whole place is poetry.

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So here’s what comes of a walk along the Northern California coast on a foggy August day.

 

Beachcomber

She runs down the beach,

feet kissed by

the cream-white foam,

soul blue as the gradient of waves.

 

She combs the beach,

not for coins or glass,

not for complete shells

or perfect rocks.

She seeks

pieces—

fragments battered and broken

by the relentless blue waves.

 

She sifts for shards of shells:

one ridged like a potato chip,

one translucent white like a nail paring,

one striated with warmth like an Arizona canyon,

one shimmering iridescent like mother-of-pearl,

her favorite a feathered infinity spiral

like the twirl of a dancer.

 

She hunts for rocks

smoothed by the rough-and-tumble sand—

one spotted like a leopard,

one crinkled like a brain,

a jade-green speckle.

Some are ordinary gray rocks, scarred with

fractal patterns,

straight white stripes,

or irregular embeddings of fossils.

One has a smooth indent

just the size of her fingertip.

 

She walks up the beach,

soul blue as the gradient of waves,

fists clutched full of

fragments—

shell-shards and

smooth stones,

pieces

battered and tumbled and

beautiful.

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What do you love about the ocean?

4 thoughts on “Beach Poetry

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