A Visit to the Ocean

When I visit the ocean
I suppose I do it in the conventional way
I start with the drive, heading to the coast
Leaving my home to eventually travel
Past the souvenir shops and the restaurants
Cruising along strip malls with coffee bars and other bars
And the crowds of people, weary and windblown
Walking the sidewalks

Eventually I’ll reach the beach
Hot, bright, and sometimes littered with sand toys
Toys left “for the next family”
I’ll walk with a crunchy shuffle toward the surf
Until my feet finally feel the water
A few steps later and the waves are pushing against my body
And soon I’m in up to my neck
Bobbing up and down as the water undulates around me

And I stop.

What if, though, I could simply start in the middle?  At the bottom?
Somehow submerged despite the laws of nature
Relaxing, strolling the depths
Barely able to see by the dim light that’s made its way down to me
I’ll walk amongst the other aquatic beings
Those both imagined and unimagined, swimming past me
Or scurrying along the ocean floor
Creatures without an uncomfortable chafing problem
The kind you get when you go to the ocean

 

13 thoughts on “A Visit to the Ocean

    1. Thank you for reading, and for your comments, Michelle. I had to laugh at myself as I was writing this poem. It wasn’t until I was drafting the middle of the third stanza that the last two lines came to me. I certainly didn’t intend for things to go that way as I started writing the piece.

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  1. We go to the ocean every summer & sometimes I snorkel & do imagine being down there on the ocean floor crawling along with the crabs & stars, but your poem made me laugh at its turn, Tim. Yes, I guess without our ‘manmade’ shells, we would be lots more comfortable!

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  2. Tim, the ocean is my go-to-place and I miss it. Thanks for bringing me back to it via your poem that has a philosophical end to it. Love this line: Somehow submerged despite the laws of nature…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Carol. I miss the ocean as well. I hope that, come October, I’m able to go back to it. The Alabama gulf coast in the fall is a magical place.

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    1. Thanks, Paula! I think I commented before that I didn’t expect the poem to end that way either. Those lines came to me late in the game, and I decided to keep them because they made me laugh too!

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    1. Thanks, Christie! The chafing caught me by surprise, too. As I was writing, I tried to find a universal “beach” experience. I’m originally from Ohio, so the beach wasn’t part of my childhood. Now that I’m in north Alabama, the Gulf Coast is what I know. I’ve been to the Pacific Northwest, lived in Hawaii, and spent time in coastal Virginia, so I know everyone’s experience is different. That said, I did try to make the piece something everyone could visualize. Thanks for reading!

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