Category Archives: Muse

Beachside Refractions and Other Poems


(Click on photos to enlarge)


Here are three poems that I wrote while being held prisoner on my porch for two days waiting for the internet man.  He came after a half dozen phone calls and a half dozen promises to be there in 1/2 hour, but never did get my internet up, so I’m sitting in a closed palapa restaurant in the dark, listening to the surf and using their internet, which I’ve paid them to use.  I actually had a wonderful day spent watching the pelicans, fishermen and frigate birds, then went way out and did my exercises in the ocean, watching the sunset.   There were fishermen and little boys on boogie boards all around me…and a young girl standing on a paddle board and paddling back and forth between me and the sunset.

Beachside Refractions

When I wake up at six that man
is out collecting bait.
And he is still out fishing
when the sun goes down at eight.

I guess that staring at water
and at the sky is fun,
for in the week I’ve been here,
he’s only landed one!

The tide comes in each morning,
bringing us new gifts;
transforming everything to sand
it sifts and sifts and sifts.

The frigate birds sail over all:
the headland and the town.
I don’t know what they’re looking for.
They never venture down.

A string of pelicans fly north.
Seconds later, they fly south.
guess the reason is not one
has fish within its mouth.

The beach cat sits here looking
out to the open sea,
willing all the fisherman
to “Bring a fish to me!”

The tide comes within feet of me
when it is at its height.
Tucked away here, in the shade,
I do not feel its bite.

When tide goes out, I go with it
to float beyond its curl.
It does not know if I am fish
or shell or boat or girl.

All the local folks collect
each evening at the beach.
Sand within their sandals,
and tequila within reach.

They talk the long day over
and orchestrate the sun
to sink beneath the seascape
to prove the day is done.

They come to view the sunset,
though they talk into the night.
It cannot be the sun they seek,
for it’s gone out of sight.

When most go home still one or two
stay to feel the night.
Their voices drift over the sand
sibilant and slight.

Whispers, merely whispers
by the time they get to me.
Unconnected syllables
for which I have no key.

The moon has not yet risen
and the stars are hidden by cloud.
And all the words that wait for me
are not yet voiced aloud.

All around me, darkest night
surrounds me like a womb.
I think words wait for me in dreams
just in the other room.



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,
into the water’s surface
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?


The Magnificent Frigate Bird

They polonaise up higher,
far above the rest.
Not once dipping to the land.
Do they ever nest?

I never see them fishing,
foraging or chewing.
As though their wings are made for art
but are not made for doing.

A gentle crease within their wings
looks folded and unfolded,
but keeps its shape no matter what,
as though it has been molded.

This rhyme is not so fragile
nor so graceful as these birds.
I guess such elegance as theirs
cannot be caught in words.

The Prompt: Leftovers Sandwich—Today, publish a post based on unused material from a previous piece –a paragraph you nixed, a link you didn’t include, a photo you decided not to use. Let your leftovers shine!

Daily Post: The Sowing Room

The Sowing Room

My house is filled with plants and art
and furniture and clothes and heart—
my whole life spread for all to see
what nourishes and comforts me.
Things surround me everywhere
until at times I gasp for air

and go outside to try to find
some emptiness of place and mind.

I was given the gift of another room—
a place as sparse as an empty tomb,
and limited to objects three,
my choice, to take inside with me.
I chose my laptop, desk and chair—
no other objects needed there

for all the rest was in my head:
books that I had heard or read,
flowers, fountains, trees and lawn,
last rays of evening, first of dawn,
cherry pie and chocolate milk,
batiks, manta, linen, silk—
(all my favorite comfy clothes),
memories of friends and foes,
places traveled, lessons learned,
favorite dishes cooked or burned.
For lack of them, I need not pine.
Put to the page, they all are mine.

Their very absence becomes my muse.
If I want them, I have to use
imagination and memory,
then write them down for all to see.
Here poetry can seed and grow
to fill this room, and then can go
out in the world to find its place
so other words can fill its space.

When given the gift of breathing room,
that empty space became a womb.

 The Prompt: An extra room has magically been added to your home overnight. The catch: if you add more than three items to it, it disappears. How do you use it?