Archives for posts with tag: ocean

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Emerald
by Jen Waldron

Firsts of things are often the most memorable. The first piece I ever found could have ended in a very different way had I thrown it into the ocean, but I didn’t. I was a twelve-year-old girl walking along the shore to get away from it all. That was the day I found an emerald and declared green to be my favorite color.

A nearby beachcomber saw my unique find and explained to me what it was. Ordinary broken glass, once sharp and shiny, now transformed by the ocean into a smooth, frosty jewel. My first piece of sea glass. I was hooked.

Over many years, the hunt for sea glass has been therapy. One emerald led to a collection of thousands. Walking miles of coastlines and searching through sand and stones gives much time for reflection and renewal. Each trial and tribulation fading as I collect another small treasure.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My prized emerald (to the right of the penny) surrounded by an assortment of my other finds.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jen Waldron was born and raised in northern New England, and now resides with her husband of more than 30 years just outside sunny Atlanta, Georgia. When not working as a registered nurse, she spends her time writing and baking, and then baking and writing. Her published stories are based on personal memories and the humor in life. She is incredibly thankful for three wonderful sons and three adorable grandsons, none of whom has caused her a moment’s stress. She spends her vacations along a multitude of coastlines because she secretly wishes “sea glass hunter” were an actual occupation.

june
Tides
by Bokyung June

Let me find love
like the
ocean.
Foam laced waves
folding gently
envelope me into
a silk embrace.

Love, be the waves
and I the shore
return to me, always.

At night the
tide stronger
forcing me to hold on
stronger

onto love
like the
ocean.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The first time I felt beautiful walking on the beach. (June 3, 2014 at Hermosa Beach, California.)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My creative process first starts with clearing my mind and noting the things that happened that day. Bad things, good things — then I minimize them into a single word and try to write a poem off that singular word. Sometimes nothing comes of it, but sometimes it just flows. Either way I always feel glad I picked up that pen.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bokyung June, also known as Ryan Sally, is a Los Angeles poet. Currently living on the border of Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire, she has grown to love and enjoy and respect the various cultures that make up the area. She aims to continue honing her craft as a writer and a performer and finds tremendous inspiration from the City of Pomona as well as trying to get in touch with the roots she had left behind at a young age in Korea.

sylvia cavanaugh
Sky View
by Sylvia Cavanaugh

          “That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea”
                    From “Byzantium,” by William Butler Yeats

It was the Cape Cod tidal pool that
taught me I breathe air like the dolphins.
I had believed in my body before it was torn
from the sand floor by a fast rising tide that
tilted back my head in reflexive gasp, gong-
knell filling my brain. ‘Til a man saw my tormented
sky-bound eyes. He saved me from the salt blue sea.

PHOTO: The author, Cape Cod, Massachusetts (1966).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: We used to vacation at the Jersey shore, and I always loved going to the beach. One year, we went to Cape Cod, which felt wild and exciting. There was a warm pool of ocean water on the beach, which was fun to play in. Suddenly, the high tide came in and I found myself unexpectedly lifted from the ocean floor and set adrift. My body reflexively assumed the drowning person’s stance, and I stared helplessly at the deep blue sky of Cape Cod, until I was rescued. I still remember the trip fondly, and am very happy, now, to be living near the shore of Lake Michigan. I used the line form Yeats to create a Golden Shovel poem, because I love the way in which that line depicts the sea as dangerous.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Originally from Pennsylvania, Sylvia Cavanaugh has an M.S. in Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin. She teaches high school African and Asian cultural studies and advises break dancers and poets. She and her students are involved in the Sheboygan chapter of 100,000 Poets for Change. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems have appeared in An Arial Anthology, Gyroscope Review, The Journal of Creative Geography, Midwest Prairie Review, Seems, Stoneboat Literary Journal, Verse-Wisconsin, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor for Verse-Virtual: An Online Community Journal of Poetry.

AUTHOR PHOTO: Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

susan and me
Fish Dinner at the Beach
1958-2016
by Christine Potter

At first, it was architectural: breaded, oblong, the
color of cedar two by fours, from the wee Alaskan

wilderness of a rented cottage’s freezer. And I was
forbidden to erect fish stick log cabins on my plate,

using tartar sauce for mortar. Next, deep sea fishing—
my father and grandfather with new-caught baskets

of glitter and silver eyes. Lord, don’t TOUCH them!
my grandmother said, stooping to run something

white under the broiler: swordfish. It took ten years to
chew, and lemon just made it sour. Didn’t swordfish

have serrated-knife noses and fight underwater duels?
Seafood in my teens: wild paisley, hippie gems. Hot

pink shrimp. Octopus like purple fists. Iridescent
mussel shells black as turtlenecks. No lobster because

my father was allergic. It reddened his face and two
pimples bloomed on his forehead. You are growing

antennae, said my mother, her joke too dangerous
for me to laugh at. Now, sushi, tidy as a new ring

in its pillowed box. So why am I a bear, wading this
cold and noisy river? My mouth is full of salmon.

PHOTO: The author and her sister Susan next to a statue of Massasoit in Plymouth, Massachusetts (early 1960s).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Fish Dinner At the Beach” started out during a National Poetry Month poem-writing spree with a group of online poet friends. I like to write poetry about being a child (same reason I like to write time travel YA fiction, actually). Also: I really, really like fish. My family went to Cape Cod when I was little to hit the beach, but also to eat fish. These days, my husband and I go to Nova Scotia for the same reason. So it was pure joy working on a poem about growing up from fish sticks into a sushi-eating bear-creature! Which reminds me that I have a little smoked Arctic char in the freezer and it’s time for lunch.

me and elvis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christine Potter is a poet and YA novelist who lives in the almost-exurbs of the lower Hudson River Valley. Her two full-length poetry collections are Zero Degrees at First Light (2006) and Sheltering in Place (2013). Christine’s poems have appeared in Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, American Arts Quarterly, Rain Town Review, Eclectica, The Literary Bohemian, The Pedestal, and Fugue. The first book of her young adult time-traveling series, Time Runs Away With Her, was released in the fall of 2015, and the next installment, In Her Own Time, is forthcoming from Evernight Teen.

AUTHOR PHOTO: The author with a statue of a young Elvis Presley (Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum, Tupelo, Mississippi).

roseanne jordan
Blue Bodies Litter the Beach
by Michael Minassian

I stop my wife
as she is about to pick up the first jellyfish,
so blue and small it looks like a shell:
a dark mollusk or tiny anchor
from a long-ago wreck
the sea has thrown up.

A translucent mass tinted pink, blue, & purple,
beckoning even in death’s disguise:
like drowned dirigibles,
or an organ removed
from the body of the sky
without muscle or bones,
blood red tentacles trailing behind.

I do not know
what that inner atmosphere is like,
or if I could breathe the air within;
would it smell as sweet
as the serpent’s kiss,
or taste like the ocean bottom:
sand and salt and sunken skeletons.

Could I look up and launch
the pink ridge of sail,
would I see stars
or stones of tropical reefs,
the shark’s tooth’s glint
or the sun’s glare?
Could I spare the sharp sting
of venom on my wife’s skin –
would I beach myself,
would I dream of ships
with sails falling off the edge of the earth?

PHOTO: “Blue jellyfish” by Roseanne Jordan. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

SOURCE: Originally published in Iodine Poetry Journal, Fall/Winter 2011/2012: 55. Also appeared in Verse-Virtual, February, 2016.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem after visiting  Ft. Lauderdale Beach [Florida] with my wife who had just moved from Germany to our home in Florida. It was her first time seeing jellyfish of the type I described and I had to stop her from touching one because she thought it was a seashell.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Minassian lives in San Antonio, Texas. His poems have appeared in such journals as The Aurorean, The Broken Plate, Exit 7, The Galway Review, Third Wednesday, and Verse-Virtual. He is also the writer/producer of the podcast series Eye On Literature. Amsterdam Press published a chapbook of poems entitled The Arboriculturist in 2010.

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WINDS OF MAY
by James Joyce

Winds of May, that dance on the sea,
Dancing a ring-around in glee
From furrow to furrow, while overhead
The foam flies up to be garlanded,
In silvery arches spanning the air,
Saw you my true love anywhere?
Welladay! Welladay!
For the winds of May!
Love is unhappy when love is away!

IMAGE: “The Stormy Sea” by Claude Monet (1840-1926).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Joyce (1882-1941) was an Irish author considered by many critics to have written the greatest novel of all time, Ulysses (1922). Other works include Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), and Finnegans Wake (1939). Joyce is known for his experimental use of language, extensive use of interior monologue, symbolism, and his puns, allusions, and invented words.

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A CAVE OF ANGELFISH HUDDLE AGAINST THE MOON
by Ron De Maris

Put an ear to the light at fall
of dark and you will hear
nothing. This pale luminescence
that drifts in upon them
makes a blue bole of their caves,
a scare of their scything
tails. They tell
in the bubbling dark of images
that come in upon them
when light spreads like an oil slick
and sea fans
that once were their refuge
turn away.
Now there is no dark
dark enough for their silver tails,
scatter of color
(like coins massively
piling in the lap of a miser)
that was, in the day, their pride.
How hugely here we belong.
This is their song
in the silting
drift of the reef.
They have never seen the moon
nor the black scut of night, stars
spread like plankton
in their beastly infinities.

Photo:“Queen Angelfish” Chris Huss/NOAA

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SUBJECTS (Excerpt)
by Caroline Knox

You see them through water and glass,
(both liquids) and through air
with plenty of liquid in it
—water is moving through the air—
you see the large dolphins animated,
unfractious in their native
drink, going
back and forth interacting with
some sort of rings—in a minute-long video—
in a loop, we see these
dolphins again and again
looping through rings,
in indirect discourse
ringing through the loops.
We see, you see, dolphins
advertising something
we don’t have and
we don’t want; advertising
exfoliants and astringents,
humectants,
which dolphins don’t
know about and wouldn’t
want if they did, the
sloe-eyed ones.  They
make us feel free,
silent. “Nature film,
nature film!” See them
in their independence
through water and glass articulating
dolphin home truths.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Caroline Knox is the author of Nine Worthies and Flemish (Wave Books, 2013). Quaker Guns (Wave Books, 2008) received a Recommended Reading Award 2009 from the Massachusetts Center for the Book. He Paves the Road with Iron Bars, published by Verse Press in 2004, won the Maurice English Award 2005 for a book by a poet over 50. A Beaker: New and Selected Poems appeared from Verse Press in 2002. Her previous books are The House Party and To Newfoundland (Georgia 1984, 1989), and Sleepers Wake (Timken 1994). 

Her work has appeared in American Scholar, Boston Review, Harvard Magazine, Massachusetts Review, New Republic, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry (whose Bess Hokin Prize she won),TriQuarterlyThe Times Literary Supplement, and Yale Review. Her poems have been in Best American Poetry (1988 and 1994), and onPoetry Daily. Six poems are anthologized in The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry, Second Edition.

She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (1996, 2006), The Fund for Poetry, and the Yale/Mellon Visiting Faculty Program.

Photo: Dolphin playing with air bubble (guy-sports.com)

Editor’s Note: Dolphins blow air bubbles underwater and play with them as toys.

rev_billy

Performance artist Bill Talen — known as Reverend Billy — is at the forefront of environmental awareness and is taking many risks to bring this vital message to the world. With his trademark ironic/humorous touch, watch and listen at this youtube.com link as the Rev as gives a sermon in the Atlantic Ocean near Coney Island.

Learn about Reverend Billy’s activities and upcoming events at revbilly.com. He needs everyone’s help!

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THE SECRET OF THE SEA (Excerpt)
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

…My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.

Photo: John Payne