Archives for posts with tag: beaches

rehoboth beach de postcard
Rehoboth Beach
by Beverly M. Collins

Sand crabs tried to hide themselves
from capture in the palm of my hand.
Like all of us, they carried home on their back.
The splash sounds of the ocean mixed well
with the welcome smell of salt water.
My sisters and cousins laughed at each
other’s newness-reactions.
Awkward is fun when you love who
you laugh at, the humor felt like safety.
Sand and water gave in to our imaginations.
We buried our pirate uncle up to his chest as
a joint project and worked together to build a
sand castle that the evening tide quickly
washed away. Joy was simple as sunset, sand,
breeze with more sunset, sand and breeze.

IMAGE: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, beach scene, available at Lantern Press.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For this particular poem, I wanted to recall my deeper memories of our extended family’s time at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, when I was a child. I was born in Delaware and raised in New Jersey. Some of my fondest childhood memories were our visits in the summer with our family members that were still located there. I wanted to include the sights, feelings, sounds, and smells that impressed me most at that time. This was one of my favorite beaches in Delaware.

IMG_Collins Beverly M photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beverly M. Collins is author of the books Quiet Observations: Diary Thought, Whimsy and Rhyme and Mud in Magic. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications based in USA, England, Ireland, Australia, India, Germany, and Canada both in print and online. Winner of a 2019 Naji Naaman Literary prize in Creativity (Lebanon), she was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and is a prize winner for the California State Poetry Society. Born in Delaware and raised in New Jersey (USA), her photography can be found on Fine Art America products, Shutterstock, iStock/Getty images, Adobe Stock, and other sites. Visit her at beverlym-collins.pixels.com, and on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

salisbury ma
Riders to the Sea
by Richard L. Levesque

We arrive at the beach
post sunset, after the storm
rolls out into the Atlantic.
The asphalt
has a wet sheen,
almost like a black mirror.

Cigarette butts float
in deep puddles
that reflect neon signs.

At a nearby bar,
a cover band
is trying to be ZZ Top.
I fumble quarters
into an ancient
parking meter.
My friend calls
her son,
checking in.

Sneakers and sandals
come off,
pants are rolled up.
And we walk
on damp sand
behind the old Pavilion building.
The floodlights there
reveal an angry, churning sea
high above wooden pillars.
Against the night sky,
rolling waves rise
and slam against the shoreline.

My friend and I gasp together
and, in that moment,
I don’t think about why I’m there.

I don’t think about
my mother’s diagnosis
or my family’s denial.

I only think about music–
Anna Calvi’s
“Rider to the Sea.”

The instrumental
swells and breaks
just like the waves in front of us.

It’s all feedback
and noise,
then it is silent, calming.

I stare at the waves,
the music in my head
tearing emotion from my heart.

I have never seen
the ocean
in this context before.

“Beautiful,”
we whisper
before walking away.

I tell my friend
my mother probably
has a year.

She predicts
I will be back home
before then.

(It is a prophecy
that comes true
in six months.)

We don’t dwell on this,
but continue up the beach instead,
putting the storm at our backs.

PHOTO: Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts (2010) by 6SN7.

Levesque

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In 2013, my mother was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer and I went back to my hometown in Massachusetts to assess the situation. Things were not looking good and it was starting to get overwhelming. One night, just to get away for a minute, I asked a friend to take me to Salisbury Beach. A storm had just blown out to sea and the surf was breathtaking. I’d been going to that spot ever since I was a kid, but never had that kind of reaction before. The memory has haunted me in a good way ever since. Because of it, I can usually find the one good memory in just about any situation these days.

PHOTO: The author at the Blue Ocean Event Center (formerly the Pavilion) on Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts (Sept. 11, 2022).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Richard L. Levesque is a poet who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife Lorrie. His previous chapbooks are Bone-Break Psychobilly Stew and Fetal Graceland. In his spare time, he enjoys tinkering with computers and watching roller derby.

dewey beach 1
Dewey Beach, 2022
(for Paul and Estelle)
by Bunkong Tuon

The first time we went on vacation since COVID hit.
The first time my son put his feet in the sand,
Felt waves crashing, his eyes lit up.
Laughter cascading through his little body.
The first time my daughter dipped her head in the
Cool pool water, practicing trust in
Herself and the world,
The next day she kicked her legs, moved her arms,
Propelled her body forward.
Her Yiayia said, “You’re swimming, Chanda,
You’re swimming.” And the world we left behind
Disappeared. Of six million lives lost to the virus.
Of quarantines, school shootings, and isolation.
And childhood magic returned. I thought of my own
Upbringing. Refugee. Orphan.
Child survivor of the Cambodian Genocide.
How I wanted to give my kids a childhood
I never had. A father who is there
Holding their hands. Laughing as
Waves crash against their feet.
Chanting their names as they practice
How to live in this mad world.
Hollering in delight at their triumphs,
Hugging, and kissing their heads
When they need comfort.
Today, I’m giving extra love against Omicron
& its variants, against school shootings &
Police violence, against war & childhood traumas,
Against a world on the verge of destruction.
I’m giving extra love for orphans & refugees
Of the world.
Oh sweet, tender, crazy love,
Help me undo the hurt and loneliness
Of my childhood.

IMAGE: Dewey Beach, Delaware, birchwood postcards, available at Amazon.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am an orphan who became a father to two beautiful children, and I wanted to give to my kids what I didn’t have when I was young. When the pandemic hit, all that love and that desire for my children to have a normal childhood intensified. In the summer of 2022, my wife’s parents rented a beach house in Delaware, where the kids had a great time. For a quick second, it almost felt like everything was back to “normal.” Dear readers, I take each day with my kids as a gift, as I should. I am grateful to be alive and be with my kids.

Tuon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bunkong Tuon is a Cambodian-American writer and critic. He is the author of GruelAnd So I Was Blessed (both published by NYQ Books), The Doctor Will Fix It (Shabda Press), and Dead Tongue (Yes Poetry). His prose and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in New York Quarterly, Copper Nickel, The Lowell Review, Massachusetts Review, The American Journal of Poetry, carte blanche, Diode Poetry Journal, Paterson Literary Review, Consequence, among others. He teaches at Union College, in Schenectady, New York.

Image
THE DOGS AT LIVE OAK BEACH, SANTA CRUZ
by Alicia Ostriker

As if there could be a world
Of absolute innocence
In which we forget ourselves
 
The owners throw sticks
And half-bald tennis balls
Toward the surf
And the happy dogs leap after them
As if catapulted—
 
Black dogs, tan dogs,
Tubes of glorious muscle—
 
Pursuing pleasure
More than obedience
They race, skid to a halt in the wet sand,
Sometimes they’ll plunge straight into
The foaming breakers
 
Like diving birds, letting the green turbulence
Toss them, until they snap and sink
 
Teeth into floating wood
Then bound back to their owners
Shining wet, with passionate speed
For nothing,
For absolutely nothing but joy.

“The Dogs at Live Beach, Santa Cruz” appears in Alicia Ostriker’s collection The Little Space: Poems Selected and New, 1968-1998 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998), available at Amazon.com.

Photo: “Retriever at Live Oak Beach, Santa Cruz” by Christopher Matthews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Image
THE DOGS AT LIVE OAK BEACH, SANTA CRUZ
by Alicia Ostriker

As if there could be a world
Of absolute innocence
In which we forget ourselves
 
The owners throw sticks
And half-bald tennis balls
Toward the surf
And the happy dogs leap after them
As if catapulted—
 
Black dogs, tan dogs,
Tubes of glorious muscle—
 
Pursuing pleasure
More than obedience
They race, skid to a halt in the wet sand,
Sometimes they’ll plunge straight into
The foaming breakers
 
Like diving birds, letting the green turbulence
Toss them, until they snap and sink
 
Teeth into floating wood
Then bound back to their owners
Shining wet, with passionate speed
For nothing,
For absolutely nothing but joy.

“The Dogs at Live Beach, Santa Cruz” appears in Alicia Ostriker’s collection The Little Space: Poems Selected and New, 1968-1998 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998), available at Amazon.com.

Photo: “Retriever at Live Oak Beach, Santa Cruz” by Christopher Matthews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.