2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 25

What an exciting month! One thing I tried to do this year was involve a few international judges, since we have participants from around the world. Today’s guest judge is definitely one of those: He’s from Canada, based in London, and today is in Paris. But really, every judge–whether here or there–is worth checking out this month; your own poetry can only gain.

For today’s prompt, write an across the sea poem. This could be a love letter, an electronic submission through cyber space and time, or a travel poem (by air or sea, though probably not car). Modern travel or back in the days of rugged explorers. Wandering or wondering, your choice. As always, the prompt is just the springboard to your poem; feel free to bend and break.

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Here’s my attempt at an Across the Sea Poem:

“bottled up”

i don’t know if these words will float
in this small glassy cork-sealed boat

to the intended one i love
but to reach someone is enough

by now i may have reached my end
& you may not see me again

but it’s enough to write this note
because it means i still have hope

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Today’s guest judge is…

Todd Swift

Todd Swift

Todd Swift

Todd Swift, PhD, is a British-Canadian poet, lecturer, critic, and anthologist. In the 1990s, he wrote hundreds of hours of television for HBO, Paramount, Hanna-Barbera, CBC, and Fox, and was story editor for many episodes of Sailor Moon.

Swift is the author of nine full-length poetry collections, including The Ministry of Emergency Situations: Selected Poems from Marick Press, USA, 2015, and When All My Disappointments Came Home at Once. He is Director of the indie press Eyewear Publishing, Ltd., based in London.

Swift’s long essay on British poetry appeared in Poetry (Chicago) in late 2014. He was Oxfam GB’s poet-in-residence 2004-2012.

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Poem Your Heart Out again!

The prompts from last year’s challenge along with the winning poem from each day ended up in an inspired little anthology titled Poem Your Heart Out. It was part prompt book, part poetry anthology, and part workbook, because each day includes a few pages for you to make your own contributions.

Anyway, the anthology worked out so well that we’re doing it again this year, and you can take advantage of a 20% discount from Words Dance by pre-ordering before May 1, 2015.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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1,055 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 25

  1. taylor graham

    DUST MOTES

    The last pup to go. The girl I named Wander
    when her eyes were new moons dark and blank
    behind cloud; even blind, she crawled to edges,
    shores of an unknown world.

    Dust motes in air, sweet warm scent of her
    mother’s milk. She was first out of the whelping
    box, bound across oceans of bedroom rug,
    sniffing her way to the sliding glass door.

    This morning, a stranger will come for her.
    But first, we walk up the north fenceline, dry- creek damp after a night’s soft rain.
    She follows me underfoot, then trots off

    to check fresh scents – base of the buckeye
    where deer bed down, a fox trail. Pauses,
    listens to traffic on the two-lane; moves on,
    down rimrock to the swale, wandering

    wondering. Stands for an instant, a statue
    of what she’ll grow to be. I click the picture
    in my mind. Pixels, dust motes. Just an instant.
    Already wandering farther away from me.

  2. SymannthaRenn

    Travel
    I hear the flowers
    and the people are different
    across the blue sea
    I hear they sing different songs
    I bet I can learn the words

    I read, pray, mother, and photograph things in the Midwestern United States. I write as a way to honor God, relieve stress, and to process what goes on in the world

  3. Nancy Posey

    Across the Sea

    (for Linda and Iain)

    Landlocked, earthbound for now,
    I know with certainty, life exists,
    people go about their days
    on the other side of the globe.
    Without the cynicism of forebears
    who believed until their death
    the moonwalk was filmed
    somewhere in Arizona, I know
    more about Spain than the rain
    falling on the plains. I know
    now that the wall no longer
    stands, Germany does. Friends
    I never see go about their days,
    shop in little European markets,
    the background music of their days
    some other tongue. I imagine
    the sights and smells I do not see,
    picturing faces of friends far away,
    sitting in the local café or tavern,
    listening to buskers on the street,
    thinking of me on the other side
    of the salty blue ocean.

  4. Margot Suydam

    Clerihew for Hooker

    To my esteemed ancestor The Honorable Thomas Hooker
    Your safe trip home made you quite the forward looker
    No need to dress things up, just a vision across the sea
    Spread the Puritan word where heathens still take tea

  5. Marie Elena

    Language Afar

    She used to speak with longing
    Of faraway lands,
    Of engaging the charmingly unique folks,
    Of getting a first-hand sense of their lives abroad.
    “But I don’t speak the language”
    Always kept her stateside.

    She used to speak effortlessly
    Of shores she knew only through books.
    Slowly, nearly imperceptibly at first,
    She noticed words were not
    Readily available.
    “What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, yes …”

    She began speaking less,
    As words needed time to percolate to the surface,
    And that took time folks didn’t seem to have.

    She eventually quit speaking.
    She didn’t know the language.

    Marie Elena Good

  6. KM

    On a Prairie Ocean

    There’s no open water for a thousand miles,
    no one to claim this vastness not a sea.
    Golden stalks that bend and shimmer with the wind,
    each tufted top seducing with a fan dance,
    beckoning you deeper, away from gravel shores.
    A person can vanish in the grain, lose her sense of north,
    south, forget the difference between east and west.
    No compass to guide when you’re swimming the depths.
    On a still morning, undulating grasses at rest,
    abandon your moorings.
    Float away on the limitless,
    paint the faces of all the open-armed strangers
    waiting to meet you beyond.

    – Kim Mannix
    http://www.makesmesodigress.com

    1. pipersfancy

      I’m working on a poem of a similar theme – great minds think alike? Did you know that during WWI and WWII, it was the Prairie boys, not the Maritimers, who made the best sailors? I think it must have been from generations of learning to see across oceans of wheat… reading subtle signs in the movement of clouds… understanding the complexities of the ocean’s floor… life itself depended upon navigating those waters properly.

      Anyway – I digress! Lovely write! I enjoyed this work very much!
      PF

  7. pamelaraw

    Across the Sea

    A woman waiting
    Her sister dying
    Bleeding from eyes
    Ears and nose.
    She presses rags
    Scoops bloody stool
    With bare hands
    Carries clean water
    From the well
    In a village
    One hour’s walk
    One way. Death
    Brings a cold
    Sweat, fever, chills,
    and endless vomit.
    Her sister emptied
    Of bodily fluids
    Begins to shake;
    Her own skin
    And beating heart
    The only blankets
    She can find.
    This, she knows,
    Is her undoing
    But devotion knows
    No other way.
    When weakness buckles
    Her weary bones
    She will clutch
    Her dead sister’s
    Body, draw warmth
    From empty souls.

  8. PeanuttyO

    Bob, Bob, Bob

    Stop struggling my friend
    Relax, exhale, let go
    The salt is heavy here
    and will hold you

    Bob, bob, bob
    quietly in the water
    blue like sapphire
    Sparkling like diamonds
    in the southern sun

    Relax, the salt will hold you
    open your eyes, inhale
    through all of your senses
    Look out across the sea

    Created the perfect way
    Perfect in every way
    It drags the eye to beauty
    in every direction
    Pulls serenity into your soul
    with every breath

    Breathe deeply my friend
    Relax, the salt will hold you
    Bob, bob, bob
    This salt is good for your diet
    It holds you calmly as you
    heal your body, your soul and mind

    Bob, bob, bob while beauty
    explodes around you
    Bob, bob, bob
    The Italian sun warms you
    Bob, bob, bob
    The Mediterranean welcomes you

  9. Jag777

    I Touched a Star Today
    A star I wished to reach
    As I stood quietly on the beach
    Everyone said they were too far
    No one can ever catch a star
    But I touched a star today
    The tide brought it my way
    It came shooting into the sand
    I captured it in the palm of my hand
    Magic formed within
    I became whole again
    Because I got my wish
    In the form of a starfish
    Now, the star is just a treasured memory
    For I chose to set it free
    Once more the star takes flight
    Deep under the moonlight
    So, wish on a star
    It never too far

    Jennifer Gleason

  10. Kimmy Sophia

    Pirate’s Breakfast

    On pancake day,
    the lusty forks
    traverse the syrup sea.
    Golden bouillon
    stacked on a plate,
    in siren song sing: “Bite me.”
    The eyelids sink,
    the bellies grow,
    indulgence of the dumb,
    Sing Yo Ho Ho for coffee,
    to go with our bottle of rum.
    (Kimmy Sophia Brown)

    (this felt like a lazy stupid poem but I couldn’t stop laughing so I’m sending it in for fun!)

    1. Kjean

      I think it’s very clever indeed; I mean who doesn’t think of pirates when being lulled by poems of ships and watery graves and so much more that teases the senses… Well done!

  11. josephdaniel

    Opportunity

    Abundant waters
    Strong currents
    to carry one far
    The daring become
    fully immersed
    Yet, in the expanse
    of the sea of opportunities,
    far too many line the shore,
    never to set foot in the deep

  12. DanielR

    SEE THE SEA

    I watch the water fold in on itself
    hear the repercussions in the lapping of the waves
    as I dangle my feet in the surf and kick outward
    sending ripples toward a distant shore where you are
    Where are you?
    I’ve often wondered
    Is you shoreline like mine?
    Do you see the distant blur of me on the horizon
    or remember what the sea looks like
    from this place you once called home?
    Sand gives way to rocks just to the east of here
    where walking barefoot is no longer comfortable
    the gulls are forming circles in the burning sky
    like rings on fingers going up in flames
    and as the tide swells I can see myself in the sea
    drowning in the memory of you.

    Daniel Roessler

  13. pipersfancy

    My Love’s Been Drown’d

    My love’s been drown’d with shipmates grim;
    the restless waves have stolen him.

    The omen warned – red skies at dawn –
    I begged him stay, but now he’s gone.

    Did Sirens lure from rocky shore?
    The promised dreams of Sailor’s lore?

    Did Sailors cry, their prayers unheard,
    when hull split wide and waters poured?

    Alas! Love’s lost to ocean’s floor!
    I’ll have abiding love no more.

    My father’s home, a righteous man,
    won’t keep me as with child I am.

    Into sea’s dark and mirror’d face –
    I weep salt tears and pray for grace…

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Steep cliff she climbed, dark sea below;
    Hell beckoned now, her soul to throw.

    From rocky point, her face so fair –
    flung to the deep sank golden hair.

      1. pipersfancy

        Thank you – So kind of you to say! Funny thing, but I also write/record songs periodically. I did one a while back entitled “Love Carries Us Home” about a young sailor lost at sea, and the fair maiden left behind on the shore. (Hopefully – I didn’t sound like a pirate when I sang it!) Much appreciation!
        PF

      1. pipersfancy

        Thanks so much for the kind words! I do have an account on the FanStory.com site, and post regularly under the same name – pipersfancy. Of course, much of what I’m posting there over the past couple of weeks is the same as what I’m posting here… there’s only so much time I have per day (that I can beg, borrow, steal) for my creative fun-time!

  14. Walt Wojtanik

    SEAS OF A TIME-WORN HEART

    It cuts to the bone, marrow dripping,
    mixing with every drop of blood purged
    from a heart so battered; worn. This
    link of passion sets sail on our seas of love.

    An uncharted course, not knowing
    what was in store for young lovers
    with dreams to raise anchor and navigate life,
    leaving the past in their wake

    and their future dreams on distant horizons.
    The turbulent churn tosses and the vessel will pitch,
    sending hearts to the rail to purge insecurity and fear
    and setting feet firmly of the deck of heart’s desires.

    From stem to stern, their pulses quicken,
    a feeling that will sink, motionless and still
    finding a harbor loving and longing;
    a port most welcoming and wanting.

    All seas crest with gentle waves to soothe
    battered and time-worn hearts; homeward bound.

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik

  15. Walt Wojtanik

    HEARTS AT SEA

    Two hearts afloat upon love’s endless sea,
    bobbing free in currents of emotion.
    There is no lake or ocean can compare
    to the freedom there. Two hearts float in love.

    Above is an endless sky full of stars.
    Hearts navigate by their chart position,
    a condition driven by the love shared.
    They are spared rough tides; they ride the current.

    The rough torrent cannot put them under,
    it’s a wonder love keeps their heads above
    water. They ought to thank their lucky stars,
    they are adrift uplifting each other.

    Hearts at sea are free to be. Their journey
    can lead them to distant shores and much more!

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik,

  16. BellaNaija

    Lost Luggage
    By Bella Naija (c) 2015

    Lost luggage is what happens
    When you
    Trust your valuables to someone
    Without first knowing what you have –
    And now he’s gone
    With the pieces that I had packed away for a rainy day

  17. Kyusu

    Across the sea

    Moonlight
    on waves
    the scattered brightness
    of a sheltered harbour
    on the edge of darkness
    breathing in
    as the wind blows
    letting go
    a prayer lost
    in the ebb and flow
    still restless even after
    all the boats come home
    from the sea that joins
    your land
    to mine.

    Alison Williams

  18. Minibusy

    My Sailor

    There was a time when azure heather bloomed
    to match the vibrant color of his eyes
    but I’ve not seen the blush of heather’s hues
    since last September, when he went to sea.

    There was a time when all the songbirds sang
    a sweet refrain of joy for love’s first bloom,
    but nightingales are rarer now, it seems,
    and rarer still their haunting melody.

    The blue has faded from the lonely moor,
    the skies are empty; songbirds all have flown.
    The hills cry out their call for his return,
    but never does the rolling sea reply.

    There was a time when sunlight weaved its dance,
    and laughter echoed gaily down the vale.
    but I’ve not laughed at all since he’s been gone,
    and since he won’t be back… I never will.

    Sharon Anderson

  19. Pepe Batbon

    THE CLOCKFISH CHRONICLED
    ( a once upon a time one got away rhyme )

    scientific name: kronos tempus fugitsu
    local name: time flying fish
    German name: der ticken tocken fisc
    nickname: clockfish

    Out of the sea green depths and primordial ooze
    came a fish with ability to pick and to choose
    it leapt high into sea spray crawled over tropical sands
    before too long this fish had time on its hands

    whether off the cold icy coast of Labrador
    or in the snake infested waters of the Coral Sea
    this gestalt gefilte fish seemed to always know
    when it was feeding time or when it was time to go

    week after watery week season after salty season
    this finned wunderkind was right on time
    for every change the school of fish went through
    der ticken tocken fisc was right there too

    it needed no church bells or sonar buoys
    wore no watches on caudal peduncle or fins
    yet seemed to sense as it swam away
    exactly what time it was night or day

    so where is it now and is it on watch
    why haven’t we seen the clockfish lately
    perhaps just perhaps it would be timely to say
    that this fish just decided to let time slip away

  20. grcran

    Meticulous Mary McGee
    Met men all across the North Sea
    None fancied this daughter
    They told her she oughter
    Try swimming transatlantic’ly

    by gpr crane

  21. writinglife16

    SHE WEARS THEM WELL

    As I looked
    across the small sea
    I thought of
    its origins.
    A master artist did this.
    The land is the clue.

    The shawl
    around her body.
    The waters
    she wears well.
    A master artist did this.
    Michigan’s true gems.

    **The Great Lakes are lakes, but go stand on one of their shores… 🙂

    1. carolemt87

      As a former Michigan resident, I appreciate this poem. The Great Lakes each have their own unique personality and it’s difficult to pick a favorite. I’d take Lake Superior for its wild toughness and Lake Michigan for playfulness and of course, sunsets. Lovely poem.

    2. Kjean

      I so agree with you! I live an hour away from Lake Superior and spend many hours just wondering what lies beyond the horizon… This a beautifully done poem. I never thought of the “Lake” as a woman in a shawl, but that is a perfect depiction…

  22. annell

    An Across the Sea Poem

    today i watch and wait      i see no ships on the horizon      there is a gulf between us

    you left almost a year ago      the clouds hang low in the sky      i wait

    I listen as intently      as fox      for what i am not sure

    still i can hear the big clock      counting the minutes      the hands seek the hours

    time is passing      i will fall ill      get old

    my time will come      as surely      as the sunrise

    all that I know      will change, disappear, depart      i will follow you

    April 25, 2015

  23. ReathaThomasOakley

    Crossing the sea

    We are old
    we cross our seas
    in luxury
    every want and need
    catered to
    our satisfaction
    guaranteed.

    But, some nights
    I sit under the stars
    alone, ignore the others
    in their separate spaces,
    watch the movement of the waves
    the glint of moonlight
    on the water stretched
    out before me
    and think of my people
    crossing other seas so long ago.
    No luxuries, no guarantees,
    but perhaps a glint of moonlight
    every now and then and
    the hope of a safe harbor.

  24. Joseph Harker

    Kennings

    We can never not just name a thing
    anymore. There is, I’ll admit,
    a kind of razor beauty in precision—
    but different from that of the taboo.
    Remember Beowulf, where the bard
    sings of the hero on his wave-steed
    rather than his ship, sailing along
    the whale-road, as though the sea
    bustled with deep musical traffic,
    connecting one place with another
    rather than walling them off.
    Now tears are no longer sorrow-salt,
    nor absence the heart’s-teeth.
    There is so little mystery left to us.
    The fact is, you’re gone— and
    the bare words that name the reason
    why, or the country where, lack
    deepness, doing nothing to explain
    why I am writing these poems
    like word-sparrows to tell you,
    this love like a blood-knife is deadly,
    this distance like a moon’s-step
    pulls me, by tidal forces, apart.

  25. AC Leming

    I found out my mom’s pen-pal of 52 years died last August, two years after my Mom’s death. August is a month of commemorating the births and deaths of a lot of my favorite people.

    The Wrong Side of the Equator

    They met us near the Tasmin Sea,
    at the Nelson Airport. Exhausted
    by nearly 26 hours of constant travel,
    all my mom and I wanted to do
    was sleep a week once our feet
    hit the tarmac on the South Island.

    But Caroline fairly vibrated out
    of her skin, too excited to let us go,
    to meet my mom, her pen pal of 50 years,
    for the second time in a quarter century.
    We stopped twice on the way to their bungalow,
    took pictures of the bay before she allowed us
    to eat and sleep and begin our 20 day,
    whirlwind excursion all over
    New Zealand’s southern terrain.

    1. Kjean

      I’m so happy that you and your mom had had this chance…
      I love, loves, love these lines:
      “But Caroline fairly vibrated out
      of her skin, too excited to let us go,
      to meet my mom, her pen pal of 50 years,”

      What beautiful memories for you…

  26. mohinipuranik

    I’m There With You

    the barriers between you and me
    barriers of distance
    barriers of countries
    barriers of oceans
    and the barriers of the conflicting emotions,
    though they are just imaginary
    the barriers between you and me

    they hurt you,
    they hurt me
    you know i can’t travel to you
    you know i can’t reach to you
    you know i can’t come to talk with you
    barriers between you and me
    i can’t cross them
    you know, i can’t cross them

    o my love! o my sweet love!
    my heart, my love, my thoughts
    talk with you
    just close your eyes,
    i’m there with you

    breaking all the barriers
    my mind has flown to you
    beating the speed of light and sound
    taking the wings of your love
    with the power of your love
    crossing the countries and the oceans
    just close your eyes,
    i’m there with you

    feel my words
    feel my love
    just close your eyes,
    i’m there with you
    i’m there with you

    – © Mohini Puranik

  27. sarahmichal.ls

    Far Fetched Possibilities
    I’ve traversed the Pacific’s depths,
    Crossed borders,
    Spoken foreign tongues.
    But I don’t know if I can cross
    This sea of tears that madly laps
    At my wavering feet.

    You ride a wave of wreckage,
    Undone in desperation
    For love, for significance,
    For understanding.

    I endeavor to deny
    The tides of fear and loathing
    That engulf my actions,
    Defeat my words.

    There is no boat to Avalon
    Except through darkness,
    Ruination, demise.

    Narcissism expires with
    A heavy sigh,
    Wrenching pain,
    Startling surrender

    Calmer waters are elusive
    Illusions. But faith
    Has crafted a boat
    To you.
    No oars.
    No grips.
    Just a sliver
    Of hope
    In nothing.
    In everything.
    In the possibility
    Of us.

    – S. Michal Bennett

  28. ReathaThomasOakley

    Sea journeys

    In my lifetime,
    seventy years and counting,
    I stood on so many
    shores contemplated
    the expanse of oceans
    lamented not knowing
    how to swim.
    It took too many wasted years
    but I finally discovered
    if I took that first step forward
    I didn’t need to know how to swim
    I could fly.

  29. kelly letky

    helleborus

    somewhere in a garden in spain
    your long lost great-great-grandmother
    buried a key on a gold-plated chain

    no one knows this but you
    and the ghost she still sends
    to tease your serpentine dreams
    with the scent of yesterday’s roses

    one day
    as you walk to your car in a hurry somewhere
    you’ll notice the nod of a purple veiled flower
    and catch a barely-there whisper

    spoken
    in a language you can’t understand

    and that’s when you’ll begin
    to listen

    Kelly Letky

  30. PressOn

    TITANIC APPROACHING MIDNIGHT

    Throughout the day the warnings came.
    Each was posted duly, each was read dully,
    but still the sea was calm and so was she,
    beguiled by frazil ice;
    and so the sunset found her steaming
    to meet the night.

    She proceeded across the blackened sea
    at daylight speed,
    aiming for the channel
    formed in the mariner’s mind
    by a dark berg fronting a pack of haze,
    which seemed so far away
    that it kissed the stars
    rising to greet her;
    so far way that there was no need
    to reduce her revolutions
    amidst the frazil ice.

    The meeting seemed so slight:
    a mere swipe in the night.
    Only the inclinometer
    seemed to know that she
    would steam no more as before,
    beguiled by frazil ice.

    William Preston

    1. Kjean

      This depicts the frigidness of the night, the unexpectedness of what was to come, and the tragic consequence of a hazard that seemed so inconsequential at the time… This surely sings of how easily this may have been avoided… I love your penning of the perfect words to create atmosphere and effect!

  31. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Easy to Forget

    Their cries muted by distance-
    in miles and thought
    Their terror unimaginable –
    given the security of here
    Their lives unknown
    to those unaware that
    across the ocean in another land
    Their brothers and sisters disappear
    in a torrent of hate so great
    it makes extinct entire clans of kin
    until, as Martin Niemöller wrote,
    the distance abbreviates the unknowing
    by bringing a knock on Their door
    making it impossible to ignore
    or escape.

  32. PKP

    Song of soon

    when will be get there?-
    the little ones asked wide
    eyes pleading from pinched
    faces -limp with the sickness
    of sea -wretching -again and again –
    -when – when -when
    the mothers crooning
    – soon-soon-soon-
    true for some -tossed-overboard for others –
    ordinary people risen valiant as any Magellan
    together on deck under stars – below in bowels
    all -these Children of Lot – steeped in the ravages
    of salt on wounds still raw -forbidding themselves
    a single- lingered look back -until finally fresh air blew …

    1. PKP

      Oh my goodness I am out of town – posted quickly and so very deeply aporeciate all of your humbling cimments – to all those who journeyed for us and journey still – to us all trying to catch the words – happy poeming – I am thrilled to sail these seas with you

    2. Kjean

      Yes, this is truly a poem for those immigrants who crossed the great sea to start their lives anew. I love this! These lines really resonate with me:
      “…together on deck under stars – below in bowels
      all -these Children of Lot – steeped in the ravages
      of salt on wounds still raw -forbidding themselves
      a single- lingered look back -until finally fresh air blew …”

      1. PKP

        Again thank you one and all – so difficult to comment given this year’s fantastic outpouring and yet here you did – I am grateful and humbled – Thank you 🙂

  33. mariahewilson

    My One True Love Went Across The Sea

    I stand on the rocks at Peggy’s Cove
    stare out at the swirling sea.
    No matter how I beg or pray
    my love won’t come back to me.

    I stand on those rocks and pretend
    that he could see me there
    and I kick and curse and snarl
    because life isn’t fair.

    I knew when we kissed,
    before he was sent away
    that it could be the last time.
    Oh! I should have made him stay.

    My love has gone across the sea
    across the sea he died.
    He left me here, left me alone,
    didn’t even make me his bride.

    Losing a love is a terrible thing
    losing love to war is worse.
    It is only death that keeps us apart;
    Life seems like a curse.

    I stand on the rocks at Peggy’s Cove
    stare out at the swirling sea.
    No matter how I beg or pray,
    the water never comes for me.

  34. donaldillich

    Message from the Remaining Sea Creatures to the Animals Who Crawled onto Land

    Don’t think we couldn’t have gone
    ourselves. We saw what you were
    doing with fins, transforming them
    into “legs,” and altering your gills
    into “lungs.” We were frankly
    disgusted by these mutations
    that were taking you away from
    the beautiful sea, its endless waves,
    its multitudinous creatures.
    Don’t try to come back later!
    We have closed the shore to you.
    You will be fair game if you enter
    the water. You’ll see one thick fin
    and “chomp!” that will be your end.
    It didn’t have to come to this.
    Were you unsatisfied, we could’ve
    come up with something. Perhaps
    letting you jump out of the ocean
    to see the moon once in a awhile.
    Or allowing you to flip back
    into the sea if you were stranded
    on dry land, a kind of “lungfish.”
    But now you’re trapped in the air,
    and we pity you. Most of the earth
    is water, you know, and you can be
    killed by floods, destroyed by fire.
    Frankly, we don’t think you’re very
    smart. We’ll let time decide it, though.
    If you come with a lure to draw us out,
    in fact, if you try to eat us, understand
    that we’ll continue in your nightmares,
    the deep darkness you cannot forget.
    If you sail across us, when you sink,
    we’ll look at you with blank eyes,
    no attempt to rescue you, letting you
    drift to the bottom of the world,
    wondering why you chose dirt,
    why your fingers still reach out
    to propel you toward nothing.

  35. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Nestled in the Ocean

    Tectonic plates slammed together,
    creating a land of mountains and valleys
    so rich, so green that once there
    the soul is changed forever.
    Glaciers gripped the land,
    leaving behind treasures that
    still boggle the mind of those
    who study the comings and goings
    of stones and minerals.
    Fifty-three and a smidgen degrees North
    Six and a speck degrees West,
    surrounded by wild blue ocean,
    covered in heather and peat,
    my ancestors lay silent,
    part of a historic fabric sewn
    in blood, sweat, tears and rainbows.

  36. candy

    Excess Baggage

    Bags stuffed with
    Necessities everything
    They needed for a comfortable

    Trip across the pond
    Shoes and more shoes
    Jackets, shorts, raincoats

    Toiletries, must have toiletries,
    Undies and jewelry
    Black bag and red bag

    One for him, one for her
    Opened out on the tile floor
    Where everyone could see

    Their necessities and more
    Red bag, black bag too
    Heavy, heavy necessities

    Transferred to carry-ons,
    black for him purple paisley
    for her frustration and

    Embarrassment repacked
    No longer neatly folded
    Rolled into a ball stuffed into
    A corner ready to spill over

  37. Kjean

    Whether across the sea
    across the river
    across the country
    across the town
    across the street
    or across the table,
    there exists a divide between us.

    I would much rather be on your shore
    in your country
    on your side of town,
    street, or table
    But the proverbial line has been drawn
    and there’s no crossing over.

    What led us here?
    Facing each other
    no familiar melody
    to which we
    mirror the dance;
    you stumbling over my feet,
    me stepping on yours.

    You’re speaking
    but I can’t make out the words;
    a silent movie
    staccato images
    flitting through my memory
    but the reel just keeps turning
    never stopping, only
    churning up muddled thoughts
    with frothy waves
    in a sea of thought.

    The zip line has been severed
    and raveling is the rope
    that tethered your side of
    the river
    to mine.

  38. uvr

    Trembling hands 
    sort out belongings 
    for a long awaited 
    journey across the sea

    Too long spent
    in a foreign land
    adding years
    she did not want 
    to live away from 
    the place she called home

    The light dims 
    in tired eyes 
    yet an eager heart 
    urges patience 

    When known scents 
    waft in the air 
    a familiar sun 
    warms old bones 
    feet feel the touch
    of a loved land
    her travels 
    will be done 
    Then it will be time
    for eternal rest

    Uma Venkatraman

  39. sppeac1987

    An Ocean Apart

    This gateway, but also barrier of blue
    Severs my remote connection to you.
    So I throw some small piece of me
    Across this shifting, unsettled sea.

    Fleeting image and clipped message
    Is all I can project in this long passage.
    Things you may see, read, or hear,
    But the coveted touch is not near.

    While our straining bond may bend,
    Against testing times it will contend,
    It shall not break, for your avatar
    Channels through to me from afar.

    We will fight through tide of time
    Until your touch at last meets mine.
    For now I dispatch my devotion
    In form of trinkets across the ocean.

  40. Roxanna Watrous

    I’m tossing, tumbling, turning, crashing
    with waves of moonlit linen thrashing.
    I’m swimming invisibly and gasping
    drowning in a sleepless sea.
    I huddle in between the spaces
    clutching to my comfort zone
    My finger traces empty places
    on the pillow that you used to own.
    I’m in between awake and dreaming
    and I’m all alone.

    1. Roxanna Watrous

      The positivity inspired me to expand the poem. Thanks everyone.

      INSOMNIAC SEA

      I’m tossing, tumbling, turning, crashing
      with waves of moonlit linen thrashing.
      I’m swimming invisibly and gasping
      drowning in a sleepless sea.
      I huddle in between the spaces
      clutching to my comfort zone
      My fingers trace the empty places
      on the pillow that you used to own.
      I’m in between awake and dreaming
      and I’m all alone.

      If I could bottle all my lonely
      It would be the scent of your cologne.
      I feel the cool air breezing–
      a tingling neck just blown.

      It’s like I heard your whisper
      begging me to phone.
      But it’s just cool air breezing
      and I’m all alone.

      We’re back at Cafe de la Paix
      at night jeweled light strings swing and sway
      Moon-beamed
      when you say
      “Your the one I’ve waited for.”

      I love the smile curled ‘cross your face.
      Those mischief eyes spark stars ablaze,
      A constellation I trace
      in the one I adore.

      I blink and wake bereft of shore
      I search for meaning like before
      But water swallows me whole.

      I’m tossing, tumbling, turning, crashing
      with waves of moonlit linen thrashing.
      I’m swimming invisibly and gasping
      drowning in a sleepless sea.
      I huddle in between the spaces
      clutching to my comfort zone
      My fingers trace the empty places
      on the pillow that you used to own.
      I’m in between awake and dreaming
      and I’m all alone.

      We’re back at the night it went awry
      One sentence launched the ship Goodbye.
      Impugning,
      as I cry,
      “There’s nothing to atone.”

      I hear the stars rain down the sky.
      I watch the light douse in your eyes
      No consolation in why,
      and I’m all alone.

      No consolation in why.
      Was that the phone?

  41. Caitix

    James Henry Tubb

    James Henry Tubb
    Spent his life on the oceans
    Joined the RN at age 17
    First ship that he spent time
    Training on Nelson’s Victory
    A couple more barques
    And he was sent
    To the Crimean War
    Able Seaman on Dundas’ flagship
    The great ship Britannia
    To the Baltic and Caribbean
    Learnt his trade warring at sea
    To wit, he rose in the ranks
    Warrant Officer of the Gunnery
    South Africa or Australia
    A decision he had to make
    To fight off a Russian invasion
    From Australia he never came back
    He decided to come to Australia
    Away across the sea
    Just as well he decided to go there
    ‘Cause otherwise
    There wouldn’t be me!

  42. Ravyne

    On the High Seas

    time loses all meaning here
    marked only by the gentle lull
    or the tossing of waves

    ocean as far as the eyes can see
    a whale jumping, a dolphin diving
    the occasional seagull soaring

    land is but an afterthought
    no mountains or plains
    just turquoise and blue skies

    even the fiercest storm
    cannot damper the mood
    of life on the high seas

    nor the tender rocking
    of a good night

    ~Lori Carlson~

  43. Connie Peters

    A Forgotten Name

    Across the sea,
    somewhere in
    Scotland,
    England,
    Ireland,
    Wales,
    in some dusty books,
    perhaps in churches
    older than anything
    the United States
    has ever seen,
    my ancestors’ names
    were scrawled,
    just letting people know
    they once existed
    and I am also proof,
    yet, I wonder who they were
    and what they were like
    and how long it will be
    before I am just like them.

    1. Linda Rhinehart Neas

      Connie…we are on the same wavelength! I went to Ireland last year and found that it is near impossible to track down relatives from the past without documentation already in hand. We have none. I just satisfy myself with the knowledge that I stood on the land they once stood. Glorious place. Want to visit Wales and Scotland next. Great poem!

  44. Jezzie

    AUNTIE

    Auntie’s in Canada, across the sea
    but next week she’s coming to visit me
    because it’s Mum’s seventieth birthday.
    I like it when she’s here because we play.

    If I stand up tall on my tippi-toes
    I’ll be able to reach up to her nose.
    Last time I could only reach to her chin
    to give her a kiss, much to her chagrin.

    She don’t like my kisses, I can’t think why,
    pushes me away from her when I try.
    I don’t understand, I feel in a muddle
    ‘cos she likes a hug and a doggy cuddle.

    Another Doggy Ditty using my theme “Almost Human” Read more at https://jezabelmyschka.wordpress.com/

  45. Roxanna Watrous

    Today’s prompt: Across the Sea. My prompt: Across the Sea . . . of death. Dun dun duuuun. Cue creepy music. I think I need sleep : )

    FOREVERMORE FREE

    I trail ribbons of ash
    that slip from my hands–
    Black rivers of death on the sands.
    A last walk to remember
    you were drawn to the sea.
    Wave goodbye now
    forevermore free.

    Every footstep a splash
    as you spirit through land
    in rivers of death I can’t stand.
    Our trail sinks like pain
    that my clenched fists release.
    Fade away now
    forevermore free.

    God forgive me
    I want follow you down
    as I drown
    in the depths of this sea–
    Waves whipping me
    stripping me
    tearing my soul ’till it’s free.

    God forgive me
    and let me be
    forevermore free.

    I feel you rise
    from the ocean floor.
    Our arms entwined
    you whisper, “don’t linger anymore.”
    Then you place your hands in mine
    pulling me, dragging me,
    leading me back to shore.

    You released me
    to let me be
    forevermore free.

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