Thursday Thoughts: An evening walk

During my beach vacation last week, I took the time to write some poems based on my own experience of the trip, and I figured I would share one with you all today! Just FYI, this poem has absolutely nothing to do with books, and some of the writing I post here in the future will be unrelated to books as well. With that, let's look at the poem, "An evening walk":

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It begins
when my family is down on the beach.
It’s getting dark,
but we decide to stay for a few minutes.

I walk away from my family down the shore.
I’ve always wondered what the beach is like at night,
and I want to go alone
and see the beauty by myself.

The waves are in a perpetual dance to my left,
the water on the horizon sharply in focus,
clear blue glass.

My feet take refuge in the sand,
sinking slowly.

My shirt takes refuge in the wind,
billowing gently.

My mind takes refuge in the sky,
and my tired eyes see a blue-gray patchwork quilt,
soft to snuggle under,
hazy as a dream.

Those clouds are distant.
I long to float up into them,
to know each curl and puff,
each water droplet and fleck of dust.

But they hold me here,
a big broad dome,
a beautiful prison.

Where there are no clouds, the sky fades,
blue to yellow-orange on my right,
quietly satisfied,
radiant if you choose to look.

Against it,
the silhouettes of each blade
of fluffy grass
stand tall,
strength in numbers.

I long to stay,
to feel big and small all at once,
to wander along the shore
or walk into the ocean
for eternity,
entranced,
dazzled by beauty.

But my sibling calls me back,
and the illusion is shattered.

As we return,
the bugs stake their claim on my skin.
I wave them off,
but they keep coming,
and my mind starts to race,
and so do my feet,
clomping in flip-flops
across the wooden deck back to the building

and suddenly all of that beauty,
that peaceful feeling
of eyes stretched to the sky
and feet pressed down into the earth,
is gone.

The bites will itch days later.

I had hoped for more.
Maybe I just didn’t stay long enough.

Maybe it’s what my mom said to me earlier,
Wherever you go, there you are,
and my racing mind
couldn’t be quieted by a still sky.

Maybe the world rejects us for what we’ve done to it.
What I’ve done to it
with my plastic wares
and filled-up garbage bags
that are out of sight, out of mind
but are still piled up somewhere.

They are still piled up somewhere.

When I walk back up the deck,
the balconies of our building look like a constellation of lanterns,

some glowing warmly from lights inside
as kids play, adults unpack, and sand gets tracked across floors,

and some darkened with empty rooms
or comforters pulled tight over weary limbs.

I think it’s almost as beautiful as the sunset,
and is that exactly my problem?

We fight the world.
We bring our bug repellent,
our sunscreen.

The pollen makes our throats itch
and the wind blows out our flames,
but we bring our medicines
and cup our hands around our lighters.

My father and I drove through nature today,
but how can what you drive on be nature
if there’s a road?

Is the world
telling us to leave?
Or are these just the cautions,
the tears,
the battle cries
of a planet battered
by 8 billion pairs of feet
racing to the next thing?

Our necks are hunched toward our phones.
Our eyes look down at the ground,
never around us.

At the beach tonight, a dune buggy crushed the sand with its tires, music blasting,
and a woman bent down to search for shells with the flashlight of her cell phone.

Maybe the world doesn’t want us here,
or maybe it just wants us to listen to it,
to stop fighting,
to once again let our eyes stretch to the sky
and let our feet press down into the earth.

And if we would look up at that patchwork sky,
our silhouettes standing tall,
strength in numbers,

if we would let our weary, racing minds
take refuge in that quiet, satisfied sunset

maybe we would see
that we are everything
and we are nothing,

and maybe there would be hope,
for this world,
and for us.

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That's what I've got for today! Any vacation memories that stand out to you? Let me know in the comments below! And stay tuned for more blog posts next week!

Comments

  1. Wow, this is such a beautiful poem - you are a very talented writer! And it went in an unexpected direction, which made it all the more interesting. You really brought the natural beauty to life, but I also enjoyed the thoughtfulness.

    Sue

    2021 Big Book Summer Challenge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much—I appreciate your kind comments, and I'm glad the shift in the poem worked for you!

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