Grey Changes with the Tides–Haibun

We’re driving to the shore. Charcoal clouds drift and grow, and the day grows darker. All the rough lines and divisions between sea and sky are feather-brushed into one scene of blended grey. We circle the blocks, looking for a place to park, then sit in the car, listening to thunder, and watching the rain fall in silver sheets around us, filling the air with the scent of petrichor. The steady stream of water becomes drops that tip-tap-taper off, and the dark clouds blow away, leaving a blue sky with an egg yolk yellow sun. We walk to the beach. The sea is calmer now, but I hear it call–it is ever changing and never mute.


waved-claimed sandcastles

spindrift in endless cycles

blown by summer storms

Ocean City, NJ


This is for dVerse, Haibun Monday, where Björn asked us to write about grey.

I’ve also used this week’s words from Secret Keeper:  Calm/rough/storm /ease /mute


Sea Freedom: Shadorma and Yeats Challenge, Day 26

I’m combining prompts again for Eliot’s November Shadorma Challenge and Jane’s Month with Yeats. Here is today’s quotation:

“I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea!”–W.B. Yeats


In a dream–

we flew like birds,

laughing gulls

soaring high,

or stood amidst the sea foam,

time and physics paused



Ilya Repin. “What Freedom!” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



The Selkie’s Lament: Haibun

In the wild water I thrive. I remember this. When I rise from the cold deep, the waves rock and cradle me. At dawn, the grey northern sea turns to fire. When darkness comes, the moon silvers the water, and I watch the stars twinkle and drift across the sky. I didn’t know how happy I was then, watching the days pass in light and shadow across the ocean. My brothers, sisters, and I danced our sleek bodies amidst the waves, laughing and singing our ancient songs. But I had glimpsed you from afar, and I was curious. When the summer sun lingered long and languid, I swam to the shallows, then walked ashore, my human form dripping dulse and smelling of brine. Love, I thought, but possession I became. And now— my true skin gone–I am marooned here, grounded, the sea forsworn forever more. And yet still it calls to me—come! Oh, my brothers and sisters–do you know my sadness? Do you hear my cries?


Tears under moon-glow

fall, drift, mingle with the sea

carried with the tides


Guillermo_Gómez_Gil_-_Salida_de_la_luna (1)

Guillermo Gómez Gil, “Moonrise,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is a haibun for Colleen Chesebro’s  Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were happy and sad. Sometimes my inner romantic pours out in a brain-tide. 😉



The Beach, a Memory: NaPoWriMo

Dimply in the dapply light,

she danced in joy, my little sprite

the sea breeze tossed her springly hair

while seabirds squawckled in the air

she skipped upon the golden sand

till her father took her by the hand,

together they walked to wavy sea

(tumbling, white-capped, spumey sea)

where in a Jersey summer rite,

she jumped right in, such pure delight


Day 18, NaPoWriMo. The prompt was to incorporate neologisms, made-up words.

This poem is based on my memory of the first time our older daughter saw the ocean.

Five Views of the Sea: NaPoWriMo



Ocean City, NJ


Look closely,

at its sparkling surface

where rainbows dart and dance in the spray,

flowing currents

not green or grey or blue,

but multi-hued,

a thousand variations on the theme of life



Beneath the surface,

fish swim, eat, spawn

schools of action, not thought

(or so I think)

their entire universe,

the stars seen through the water

bob up and down



The whales sing in whistles and clicks,

a choral group with perfect pitch,

songs of courtship, longing, danger

giant bodies, buoyant in work and play

cooperating, defending,

underwater hearts beat in sea rhythm



In small boats, they journey

guided first by the sun and stars,

later by navigational tools,

explorers, fishermen, immigrants

they sailed then,

they sail now,

always and forever,

on the slipstream of time



The lovers stand on the shore

holding hands, bodies close

as if to make two, one

gazing at the waves,

each lost in thought,

their dreams mingle, float

drift toward the horizon


This is for NaPoWriMo, Day 6. The prompt was to write a poem that explored different views or aspects of something.

Freedom: Microfiction


Ilya Repin. “What Freedom!” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Sergei took Vera’s hand and pulled her toward the sea. Vera had never before seen him looking so relaxed in his uniform. As though he was wearing a costume for fun, she thought. Similarly, she felt loose, unconfined—and free–in her elegant midnight blue traveling gown.

They stood encircled by the swirling water. Waves of blue and white crashed over and about them. Foam and mist dotted the air, but not a drop of water dampened their clothing.

“Where are we?” Vera asked in delight, and accidentally dropped the fur muff she had carried. It stopped mid-air, then began to dance to the rhythm of the waves. It jumped back into her arms. Vera laughed. She could hear the sea singing—and felt its song throughout her body.

“We’re in our place,” Sergei answered. “Where we can be together always. Don’t worry. It will all be clear soon.”

Vera woke, disoriented.  She was sitting in a chair in her parlor, holding the telegram telling her of Sergei’s death at the front. A blue fur muff lay on her lap. She stared at it and wondered. She had always trusted Sergei. Perhaps it would all become clear in time.


This story is for Jane Dougherty’s microfiction challenge, using the above painting by Ilya Repin as a prompt.

A Day at the Beach

We sat on the beach and watched the ocean.

I saw a dolphin jump.

His tail waved a saucy good-bye to us,

mere humans,


Ocean City, New Jersey, 2013

land-dwellers and flipperless,

left behind to face our Earth-bound existence,

as he dove back under the waves.

We read.

You slept.

The tide ebbed and flowed,

As have our years together.

Tides, births, deaths—

The rhythms of nature,

The rhythms of life.

Dawns and dusks.

Midnight toasts.






Till death do us part.


My Flip flops
Ocean City, New Jersey,
June 2013

It was good to forget

for a few hours

the deadlines and tasks of everyday,


not-dolphin life.

Instead, we simply relaxed—

What a concept!

And watched the tide ebb and flow

Until it was time to pack up and go home.