I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

20 September 2009

Pottsville Beach, Late Afternoon

30 Poems in 30 Days: Day 17
Write a poem that is set at or near where you live.

The shoreline is utterly altered after the storms
but summer is coming, we can get to the beach again.
Someone has partly restored the path that became a cliff
easing it into a soft hill of sand we can trudge down and up.
Others are here already, walking or fishing.

The waves come in now in opposing directions
turning on each other like the edge of half a whirlpool.
The shallows are all uneven; in places huge licks extend
reaching nearly to the foot of the cliff, in far beyond the rest.
This is a sea I don’t want to turn my back on.

But I do while I fossick for stones in the slush:
interesting shapes, beautiful colours, satisfying textures.
Here is a comma and here a heart. Some are marked with crosses
others circled by raised, contrasting rings. One is a pearl, translucent white,
others are black and smooth, shining like onyx.

Then everyone stops. We all stand still and gaze.
I’d heard two days ago there were whales about, seen
from the headland at Hastings Point, and now they are here
disporting themselves in leisurely ease, back behind the breakers,
cresting and diving, leaping and plunging.

A glimpse of graceful tail, a curving fin or a snout,
a sudden spume of white, a burst of foam. A silver glint
from the underside of a fin caught by the sun. And the sky vast,
pastel blue with long white feathery stripes of cloud stretching across.
The ocean sparkled, seeming to sing.


  1. lovely spot. ocean is restive to the soul.

    I'll try a tumbling rhyme like you tried on the theme as I'm still culture shocked and jet lagged.

    where I live is renewed
    suddenly made bright, huge
    from square foot to tube
    for the toothpaste --
    the fridge is a waste
    land of empty. we paced
    the elevator floor
    there's room for 8 more
    at a dinner party in here. chore
    it is to walk to hear the hub
    4 hotel rooms away. Love,
    what did you say?
    why canned music forays
    from every store and cafe?
    this city has 4 wheels
    good, not two. who feels
    scooters and 1-man dealies
    for tow trucks are roles
    best played by monsters? holes
    in traffic under controls
    of lights, of signs, of lines
    on roads. back to the fine
    land of apology. dine
    like Caesar on excesses
    of sorry sorry sorry lest
    a spine incline towards ess
    of someone else's. and cold!
    who was so dastardly bold
    as to turn off the heat? old
    bones creak in two layers deep
    of wool. but still a fog creeps
    valleys, rivers. I could weep
    at the beauty of sunrise
    catching the smokestack. eyes
    startle, but home is realized.
    and clearly in sight -- clutter
    the unneededness of utter
    useless paper. clean, putter
    remake the nest. refresh
    the mind to habits. prec-
    iious kept. like friends. flesh
    is the real home. that and those
    who love us. we can dispose
    of what addictive, the heat that froze
    in the cold of things. we missed
    not a carpet, not a light. list
    what matters? us. joy exists.

  2. This terrific, Pearl, I love it. And who but you could so expertly turn a humorous form into a profound affirmation? You used the rhymes to lead the reader into it beautifully, inevitably - don't think I didn't notice and admire. :)