Category Archives: beach poems

The Cure: NaPoWriMo 2019, Day 5

Heart 3


The Cure

That sadness in your heart?
You told me once that she had
kissed it all away.

But still I could detect,
once she was gone, the echo of
that sadness in your heart.

We took your sad past to the ocean
where I hoped the waves had
kissed it all away.

Yet, like a bitter tide, it returned
and I could see again
that sadness in your heart.

I took your sad past to the mountain,
where once again I hoped the wind and sun had
kissed it all away,

and when, on our descent,
I feared the reappearance of
that sadness in your heart? I
kissed it all away.

 

 

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a villanelle that contained at least two of three other components.  Here is the vital information concerning that prompt:

the villanelle. The classic villanelle has five three-line stanzas followed by a final, four-line stanza. The first and third lines of the first stanza alternately repeat as the last lines of the following three-line stanzas, before being used as the last two lines of the final quatrain. And to make it an even more virtuoso performance, Dargan’s alternating lines, besides being taken from songs, express “opposing” ideas, with one being about sleeping, and the other waking.

Following Dargan’s lead, today we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way. If you can use two elements, great – and if you can do all three, wow! (I did all three. The opposing line “There’s a sadness in my heart” is the title of a song recorded by Legs and “kissed it all away” is a song title from the album “The Distance Between Two Truths” recorded by Mark Sholtez.)

Flying Kites

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Flying Kites

Since I was a little girl, trying to construct my own one-dimensional classically-shaped kite out of tissue paper and raw wood sticks, I’ve always been fascinated by kites.  Kites were a bonding medium between my husband’s youngest son and me and I remember once taking a new boyfriend up on the hill to fly a kite after our first amorous encounter and actually, never seeing him again. I’m sure I’ve become the subject of one of his scornful “weird chick” stories.

Kites eventually evolved into more exotic shapes than those first fragile little assemble-it-yourself kites that came as paper and string tightly wound around a disassembled skeleton of unsanded sticks sure to provide a number of slivers during assembly. In my twenties, I bought a lovely cellophane kite in the shape of a jellyfish that actually traveled with me to Mexico twenty years later. It was the kite I’d sailed off the pier in Huntington Beach, in the sand of beaches near L.A. and from a campground north of San Diego.

I can’t remember what has become of it since I moved to Mexico eighteen years ago. Perhaps it is in a box somewhere or perhaps it eventually disintegrated and was thrown away, but my fascination with kites did not expire with it and so when I saw the kite vendor next to the road that runs between Ajijic and San Juan Cosala, I immediately pulled over, turned around and went back to examine the glorious three-dimensional fabric kites.  They were in the shapes of birds of prey, dragons, fish, and other fanciful creatures.  I chose a hawk and a dragon and bought both.

I couldn’t wait to get home and go up to my roof to fly one.  Ground level at my house furnishes too many places for a kite to get tangled up in: bougainvillea vines, palm trees, roof tiles and phone lines. I went up the stairs to the second level terraza and unfurled the hawk kite.  It was a windy day and it did not disappoint, but soon rose to the full extension of its string. Real birds occasionally circled around it, wondering no doubt what weird bird was this.  But after a few minutes, when I looked down from the mesmerizing sight of my own kite hovering far above, I noticed in amazement a similar kite soaring high above my neighbor’s house down below.

Not one but two men were up on the high dome of their house flying a kite! Now I must say that I had lived in my house for sixteen years and had still never met these neighbors.  There is an empty lot between us as well as high walls surrounding both of our properties, as is the norm in Mexico.  Tall trees and weeds have grown up between us and they are just occasional weekend visitors to their vacation house. We share a gardener, Pasiano, and that has been the extent of our relationship for the now 18 years I’ve been residing here.  But they seemed to spot my kite the moment I spotted theirs.  I waved from my high perch. They waved from theirs, further down the hill. And I think we both felt a momentary sense of unity.

Since then, that kite has resided, rewound into a tight bundle, in my umbrella stand, along with its fellow kite, still a virgin and as a result, more tightly and professionally wound.  I don’t know why I’d never thought to fly either of them since then, but as I was packing to go to the beach last January, my eye fell on the umbrella stand.  No need for an umbrella at the beach, but a kite?  Yes!  I chose the more flamboyant red dragon kite. I would finally see it fully extended!  The cord was stuck into the cellophane sheath that surrounded it–a flat plastic structure with the strong braided nylon cord wound tightly around it.  Into my fully-packed car it went.

Once I arrived in La Manzanilla, the kite took up residence with my art supplies, sticking up out of a large plastic box that sat on the dining table bench behind the table, which was never used for dining but instead became my computer table and art center. There was much to do–greeting old friends, working on music for CD’s to go with my children’s books, writing groups and readings, planning art activities for friends, swimming, beach combing, dining, dancing, observing the nightly parades that streamed by my house, dealing with the all-night LOUD music from nearby bars, coping with the muffler-less motorcycles that streamed by my house at 3 in the morning.

It was a month after I’d arrived at the beach that my eye fell on my long-overlooked second kite.  It was a nice windy day on the beach. I’d seen at least one other kite flying–something I’d never witnessed in the ten years I’d been coming to this relatively sleepy little town. Here were no high-rise hotels or swinging discotheques like the ones in Puerto Vallarta or Mazatlan.  Here were little restaurants and night spots frequented by the ever-increasing number of American and Canadian writers, musicians, actors and artists who swelled out the population of the little town for 6 months of every year—those months before the humidity and heat grew too intense to bear.

So, finally, I took my wonderful kite out for its inaugural flight. Assembly required only crossing two long slender plastic spines and slipping their ends into pouched slots on the snout, tail end and two front legs of the dragon and attaching the cord to a center ring. The long expanse of the cord was wound around a flat plastic spindle that had been packaged up with the kite.  I slathered on sunscreen and went out to my back porch that overlooked the beach, descended the stairs and began to unwind the cord.  The kite rose immediately into the air, born by the strong coastal breeze.  It shot upwards and upwards and upwards and––then it was soaring up and over the long line of vacation rentals and restaurants that lined the beach and I was holding the cord winder to which, it seems, the cord had not been attached!

Within seconds, my beautiful kite was gone with the wind and out of sight.  I ran quickly down the beach to a small restaurant that furnished ingress to the main street of the little town that fronted the house I rented every year.  I ran out onto the street, madly looking up and down for my kite, fearing to find it plastered against the windshield of a wrecked car or in broken splinters, shards and rags after being run over. I looked up and down, up and down, then ran to the center of the street to finally see it, a block away, held streaming behind the form of a small girl on the back of her mother’s motorcycle, speeding down the brick-paved street into the distance. I ran after it, shouting, creating quite a spectacle of myself, then stopped, realizing they would probably make the circuit around the plaza and come back again, as all the other motorcycles always did.  But alas, I never saw the motorcycle or the little girl and mother or my beautiful new kite again. They had vanished into the labyrinthine sand streets of the little town.

For another month, I looked for it in the skies above the beach. The house I rent is only one building away from the main paved entrance to the beach and the hub of beach life, but alas, it never appeared.  I console myself with the thought of the astonishment of the little girl as it soared over the rooftops and within her reach—her delight as she held it streaming out behind her, her other hand securely clutching her mother as they created a beautiful spectacle witnessed by everyone watching that day from sidewalks, benches or the inside of stores, restaurants and galleries along that main thoroughfare. Witnessed by me, standing center-road, regretting its loss.  But at night, before I fall to sleep, as I look for the ten thousandth time at the paintings that cover the walls of my bedroom, I imagine that little girl in her room, my splendid red dragon kite tacked to the adobe wall in front of her bed.  Her little miracle.  Her treasure, perhaps, for the rest of her life.

 

 

 

Prompt words today were kite, scorn, labyrinthine and instant. Here are the links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/rdp-saturday-kite/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/03/30/fowc-with-fandango-scorn/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/your-daily-word-prompt-labyrinthine-march-30-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/instant/

Tropical Christmas Agenda

 

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Tropical Christmas Agenda

I’m tired of snowy and of cold.
I prefer weather less bold.
Forget the frost. Forget the ice.
Some trade winds would be rather nice.
Sand and surf would hit the spot
in a place where snow is not.
More intrigue near the steaming beach.
Romance is somehow more in reach,
perhaps because sans scarf and mitten
the chance for one to be more smitten
over vast amounts of skin
creates a greater chance of sin.

And so, so much for Nordic pleasures.
I prefer the island treasures
of a fresh pina colada
over the yada yada yada
of another Christmas season
so devoid of charm and reason.
Keep your presents and your nog,
your carols and your Yule log.
I choose a hammock and a book
and swimsuit for my Christmas look.

The prompt words are intrigue, snowy and frost.  Here are the links:
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/12/23/fowc-with-fandango-intrigue/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/your-daily-word-prompt-snowy-December-23-2018/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/frost/

Above

jdb photos, 2018.  To enlarge all photos, click on any one.


Above

By putting so much beauty so far beyond our reach,
what truths of the universe might nature try to teach?
One story told by earth and sea, here within our clutch,
another told by what’s above, that only eyes can touch.

 

The prompt today is above.

Annie’s World (At the Beach)

Annie Goes on a Beach Vacation

To read the poem that goes with these photos as well as to enlarge the photos, you must click on the first photo and then on each arrow on the right hand margin of each photo. If you are viewing via Facebook, you won’t see all the photos or the captions/poems unless you click on my URL or the name of my blog first. Facebook only shows a few of the photos unless you do this.

This post is for forgottenman, who asked for it!

 

Undulations

Click on any photo to enlarge all.

Undulations

The constant undulation and the murmur of the waves.
The crashing of the breakers as they beat against the caves
carved out by the chisel of the water making hives
at the edges of the world that ensconced our busy lives.

It craved us as its audience. It pulled us to its shore.
It calmed our petty grievances with its might roar.
When it chose to rage it could wipe away our world,
sweeping us away as its anger came unfurled.

At other times it lapped at us, assuaging all our pain.
That’s why we returned to it, over and again.
Walked along its edges, pierced its salty deep,
uncovering the secrets so long within its keep.

Every morning it brought treasures to our waiting hands
to examine as we walked along the morning-evened sands.
Dollars from the ocean depths, stars out of the sea––
left there to be taken or to be let be

for the next beachcomber to claim them for their own
to treasure on a mantel what the sea had thrown
like necklaces at mardi gras, cast blindly and for free
for denizens of dry worlds to collect on bended knee.

What we cast back on the waters determines ultimately
what the sea will one day give back to you and me,
and if we do not listen to the truth the tides may tell,
the music of the waves may be our funeral knell.

The prompt today is undulate.

Pelicans

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Pelicans

They float upon the gentle swells,
with chins tucked in politely.
Of all the birds, most dignified,
their movements never sprightly.

They look like grumpy butlers
named Oliver or Jeeves
in morning coats of softest gray
with wings tucked in their sleeves.

They may be only scouting
the source of their next meal,
for soon they take off to the air
with energy and zeal.

And soon they’re diving down again,
straight like an arrow shot,
down into the shallows
to see what can be caught.

Bobbing once again,
they lift their bills and then let slide
all that’s in their pouches
to another place inside.

I wonder if the fishes flop
all the long way down,
and this is why the pelicans
then fold their arms and frown?

 Version 2

The prompt today is shallow. This poem is a rewrite of a poem published a few years ago..