Archives for posts with tag: ocean

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).


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.

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

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,
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.


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 (

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


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 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 He needs everyone’s help!

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

Poem by Gaia Holmes 

“There are plenty more
fish in the sea,”
he tells you with conviction
knowing, as he does,
the whole spectrum
of glitter, silver fin and gill.
He knows fish
that would shock
with their electric,
sheepish fish that graze
on plankton, sea furze
and the moss
that clads shipwrecks.
He knows fish
that you can trust
for their regularity,
fish that get high
on the lights
of midnight trawlers,
fish that freeze
by the clank and hum
of ocean liners.
He knows fish
that fall in love
with pebbles,
fish that get giddy
when wind
fingers the waves.
He knows fish
that would gracefully
take your hook
into their mouths
without wincing.

“Fish” and two other poems by Gaia Holmes appear in the  Silver Birch Press Silver Anthology, available at

Illustration: Drylcon Graphics


“Under the thinning fog the surf curled and creamed, almost without sound, like a thought trying to form inself on the edge of consciousness.” 


Photo: “Fog, Sunset, Ocean — California” by Mike Behnken, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

by Chris Davidson

I was in Pismo Beach with my wife
and her mother Phyllis, and her husband Greg,
and we stayed in a hotel room on the second-floor,
with two queen-sized beds,
and Greg stood by the open door of the room,
smoking, looking out at the ocean, where he saw,
under thick white clouds lumbering cross the sky
like whales, whales—first time he’d seen them
in the wild, he said. And the smoke lifted
from his cigarette, and the mist from the whales
lifted as if in reply, and all of this
I don’t remember, none of it, not the trip
to Pismo Beach, not the whales,
but Phyllis does, for she talked about it
here when she came to visit last week .
My wife barely recalls it, sort of is
the phrase she uses. All was recounted
as we walked on a pier at a different beach—
myself, my wife, and Phyllis, who pushed
her grandchildren in the stroller, the sound
of water below bringing up the hotel, the smoke,
the whales and waves, whatever else.

I Was in Pismo Beach” and other poetry by Chris Davidson appears in the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology, a collection of poetry and prose from over 70 authors in the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Africa, available at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chris Davidson’s writing has appeared in Zyzzyva, Alaska Quarterly Review, Burnside Review, Zocalo Public Square, The Rumpus, Jacket2, and elsewhere. He teaches at Biola University and lives in Seal Beach, California, with his wife and sons.

Photo: “Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County” (Courtesy of San Luis Obispo County website)

Learn more about California’s winter whale watching season here.



by Kathy Dahms Rogers

The streetlight shines so brightly
on the ocean, each wave has a silver lip.
That’s when I realize how real
my Dreams are.  Each day I awaken
to unbelievable news from unimaginable places
whose ghostly characters crowd out my thoughts.
I try to pin them down but they fade away
as Memory frees them to float over the bluff.
Each night I eagerly await my escape,
a better life, another dream.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathy Dahms Rogers was born in Iowa, lives in Long Beach, California, and loves to travel with her husband Jack.  She calls herself an “accidental poet” because she began writing poetry during the 1990s in a workshop she thought was going to focus on memoir and travel writing. She continues to attend these weekly workshops with poet Donna Hilbert. Now a retired college reading instructor, Kathy’s poems have been published in PEARL, a literary journal, and Voices, an anthology.

“Dreams” and other poetry by Kathy Dahms Rogers is featured in the Silver Birch Press Silver Anthology, a collection of poetry and prose by authors from the U.S. and U.K. — available in paperback and Kindle versions at

Photo: “Streetlights on the Beach, Monterey, California” by Bikini Sleepshirt, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


“It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English — up to 50 words used in correct context — no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.” CARL SAGAN, author of Cosmos

“The voice of the dolphin in air is like that of the human, in that they can pronounce vowels, and combinations of vowels.” ARISTOTLE, The History of Animals

“Man has always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much…the wheel, New York, wars, and so on…while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man…for precisely the same reason.” DOUGLAS ADAMS, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Illustration: “Dolphin Dreams” by lillyarts. Prints available at