July 18thThere was no greater thrill than loading the lot of us into the station wagon and heading for the beach. Write a poem featuring children at the beach. Or write from the viewpoint of a child for this foray into poetics.

And don’t pass up the opportunity to “meet” an incredible young person and poet featured in Marie’s Poet Interview. Today, our featured poet is none other that Erin Kay Hope. Read her chat with Marie HERE and you’ll walk away feeling that there is hope for the world with young ones like Erin Kay in it!



July 17 – Put Into Words (Ekphrasis)

July 16 – Amusement Park

July 15 – Tides

July 14 – Picnic

July 13 – Lighthouse

153 thoughts on “LIFE IS A BEACH – CHILDREN

  1. MOON TRIP TANKA 57577

    Sometimes a child can dream….

    On the beach one night,
    I caught a beam of light,
    zipped up to the moon,
    where a wee man met me
    served me biscuits, cheese and tea.

    In his moon buggy,
    we toured hills and craters,
    gathering moon dust,
    then danced with cute sky fairies
    that resembled butterflies.

    They took me flying
    o’er a bright crystal sea
    filled with waiting stars
    that one by one were gathered
    and sent to lighten men’s lives.

    We built tall castles
    of moon rocks, sand and laughter.
    Camped mid shooting stars,
    played drums, flute and golden harps
    and sang songs both old and new.

    We shared past stories
    of moon and earth’s beginnings,
    adventures we each did,
    of man’s first trip to the moon
    when moon-man and fairies hid.

    Days full of learning,
    exploring, eating blue cheese
    too quickly flashed by
    ‘til again a full moon shown,
    T’was time to beam back home.

  2. Plage

    She must have been eight
    when she first saw the sea
    which seems pretty late
    for a small-island girl.
    But World War Two
    had put an end to travel
    and other good things, too.

    So when told of a trip
    to a place she’d not heard of –
    Littlehampton it was – for a dip,
    she was ecstatic,
    though in for a shock quite traumatic.
    ‘We’re going to see the sea,’
    she chanted, all the way there.
    ‘We’re going to see the sea.’

    But when they arrived
    she was so surprised:
    they’d put a high fence round the sea.
    An ugly ramshackle contraption,
    surrounded by rusty barbed wire,
    its feet in the water,
    a few yards from the shore –

    ‘Why?’ she asked in a plaintive tone,
    ‘why have they gone and spoiled it?’
    ‘It was made to keep out the enemy,’ they said.
    Without that, she would have enjoyed it.
    ‘It must be so pretty’ she wailed in a pet,
    ‘without that nasty obstruction.’

    ‘I think I’ll go home now, if you don’t mind.’
    Said her Mum ‘Oh no, dear, not yet.
    There’s a picnic to eat
    then a ride on the seat
    of a swingboat, high in the sky,
    and sandcastles to build,
    you’ll see, you’ll be thrilled
    before it is time for goodbye.’

    This poem was originally written for the late lamented Big Tent, in 2010, but the Life is a Beach prompt for today seemed to fit it to a T. It was originally inspired by lines from a long Houseman poem Diffugere Nives (Horace: Odes iv 7)

    “Smooth between sea and land
    Is laid the yellow sand,
    and here through summer days
    the seed of Adam plays.”

    I have re-posted it here:

    • Wonderful; takes me to England at about the time I was born. I often wondered how English kids felt, particularly when they were sent to the countryside, away, it was hoped, from the bombs.

    • I love this Viv. I didn’t know about “An ugly ramshackle contraption,
      surrounded by rusty barbed wire, its feet in the water, a few yards from the shore” – this is a wonderful look back.

    • … wow… I can’t even imagine… I’m glad that you had a safe place to go, Viv!!


    When he goes with his folks to the beach
    I am sure they will soon scream and screech,
    for his trysts in the water
    with the minister’s daughter
    aren’t by chance, nor are figures of speech.

    copyright 2013, William Preston


    There is no other sight in all the land
    as happy and gay as a kid in the sand
    building his castles for all to see;
    enjoying the wind and despising the lee;
    running and jumping and splashing about
    with giggles and jiggles and many a shout;
    embracing the waves like a sister or brother
    and, when each one passes, seeking another.
    Whatever gods be, may they lend a strong hand
    to ensure a safe world for the kids in the sand.

    copyright 2013, William Preston


    Chloe Minah on the shore
    standing in the sand,
    looking out across the lake
    scoop and pail in hand

    Chloe was a driven girl,
    the most of all the Minah’s,
    and her intent was heaven sent,..
    to dig her way to China.

    Every day for one full week
    Chloe dug and dug,
    unearthing shells and coins and things
    and fossils of dead bugs.

    But new tomorrows bring the tide
    washing things away,
    and tunnels down to China
    certainly would not stay.

    So Chloe had to change her course
    as far as she could tell
    and instead of down to China
    she’d dig to New Rochelle.

    She never really had their food,
    while egg rolls hit the spot.
    Why Chloe wasn’t even sure
    what kind of chow they’ve got.

    And Minah’s don’t give up the ship
    (though times I think they oughta)
    and put their pails and shovels down
    and just jump into the water.

    Beaches are for fun and play,
    and mild explorations,
    but not for digging through earth’s core
    to get to another nation.

    Chloe Minah sat on the shore,
    with a change of plans,
    figuring the shortest route
    to make it to Japan!

  6. Joy

    Open mouths
    Eyes shiny and bright
    Arms waving
    Feet dancing
    Kids’ first day at the ocean
    Discovering waves

  7. Beach Boys

    We took our grandsons to the beach
    their first time outside a book to see
    that vast land’s end that reached
    the edge of the sky to infinity.

    It was cool to see how they reacted,
    four little boys from nine to two,
    and how this new experience impacted
    their preconceived ideas of the deep blue.

    The oldest was enthralled and much too brave
    he walked right in and fell in love
    with salty, gritty, splashing wave,
    not intimidated by its push and shove

    The next oldest waded in but had his suspicions,
    so only waist high. Then seeing the ocean as foe
    he karate chopped each wave into submission.
    All day they went at it head to toe.

    The third one was timid at first, needed
    Grandpa to hold him close. The surf’s slaps
    he tolerated then tired and pleaded
    “Let’s build sand castles or find crabs perhaps.”

    The youngest, well, he didn’t care for sand
    in eyes and mouth and everywhere
    he much preferred the swimming pool and
    lazy river, to which the ocean could not compare.

  8. Pingback: Sand Dollar Scar | Metaphors and Smiles

  9. Sand Dollar Scar
    As an adult
    she’s nearly forgotten
    the pale scar
    residing in her skin,
    on the upper backside of her arm;
    just out of sight-
    a dime-sized white sand dollar.
    It only appeared on sun kissed skin,
    when she’d gotten a little tan-
    then the circle would emerge.
    On remembering…
    it vaguely reminded her of her mother,
    it came back in vivid flashes
    like photographs,
    sounds and images in her mind:
    Rushing waves,
    bright sunshine,
    gritty sand between her toes…
    sparkling water droplets,
    on goose flesh,
    her mother’s cool skin.
    She recalled marveling
    at the shape and pattern,
    a center sphere
    with dots that encircled it,
    the water pooled in the middle
    of her inoculation mark.
    She often looked at this
    but she noticed it most at the beach
    and asked her about it then
    always receiving the same answer:
    It was the way they used to do it,
    to ward against diseases…
    And she’d always ask her mother if it hurt.
    No, it was fast,
    just a pinch.
    It was in this pondering,
    in her now
    over her morning cup of coffee
    that the memory of her own scar arose-
    the shot she’d received,
    screaming on her mommy’s lap,
    how she’d struggled,
    every grain of her being
    working to escape
    the stabbing point;
    she tried so hard to wriggle from the grip
    of a nurse and her mother.
    She knew why she’d lied…
    trying to keep her –
    her baby girl,
    from the reality of pain.
    She’d almost forgotten the origin
    of the small pale scar,
    presently, a dime-sized sand dollar
    existing on the golden shore of a reminiscence
    on the backside of her arm.
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

  10. Vacation Nightlight

    Lighthouse, lighthouse in the light
    Shine your beacon into the night,
    Comfort all who gaze at you
    Thru their window’s sheltered view.

    Sound your horn to those who need it
    Keep them safe… May they heed it.

  11. Toddler’s Day at the Beach

    The sand is hot
    It burns my feet
    The ocean waves
    Relieve the heat
    But salty sea
    Goes up my nose
    And mom says
    That’s the way it goes
    Inside my bathing suit
    Is sandy
    And the sunshine
    Melts my candy
    Plus my sippy cup
    Got buried
    Where’s the pail I
    Thought I carried?
    With that kid
    Way over there?!
    Mommy, do I
    HAVE to share?

    My mom gives me
    Her raised eye brow.

    The sand is hot
    It burns my toes
    I rinse them with
    The shower hose
    The car is hot
    My suit is wet
    But Mom won’t want
    To know, I bet
    I yawn and stretch
    And count some sheep
    Here in the car
    I’m fast asleep
    I splash and play
    And it sure seems
    The beach is better
    In my dreams.

    © Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013

  12. While Parents Make Plans…

    Feet sandaled and
    Itching to get moving,
    Tightly clasped towels, buckets
    And shovels.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013


    She lies within the stroller as the sun
    looses its rays upon her coverlets;
    her smile returns its light in happy jets,
    illuminating everything. In fun
    I watch her and the sun behave as one:
    her play entrances me; my heart forgets
    the days of storms when her bright laugh permits
    the sun to shine, for she is life begun
    anew. May joy be hers her whole life through;
    may love enfold her soul in bold embraces;
    may peace be with her, and a tender pair
    of hands be always near, to warm and woo.
    And, in her turn, may she witness the graces
    that I see here, refreshed by salt-spun air.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  14. Pingback: Summer Of 1989 | echoes from the silence

    • SUMMER OF 1989

      Our visits to the Cape
      looked different each year
      as the children grew older
      gaining confidence, less fear.

      The older kids played
      in the sand and the surf,
      while grandparents looked on.
      The kids were on their turf.

      The summer the baby
      was just six months old
      we experienced record heat
      (or so I was told).

      This meant holding him
      was uncomfortably hot.
      Our solution to cool off
      was filling a lobster pot!

      Out on the lawn
      safely in reach,
      the baby enjoyed
      his form of the beach.

      P. Wanken

  15. Mermaids

    One child
    longs to be
    a mermaid
    in the sea.

    Every year
    she asks
    to go
    where the sea
    does flow.

    At every beach
    she builds a castle,
    at every beach
    she collects the shells,
    at every beach
    she swims in the swells.

    Even when her lips are blue
    she’ll want to stay,
    so we bury her in the sand
    and give her a tail
    but she’s still on land.

    One child
    longs to be
    a mermaid
    in the sea.

  16. A Long Summer on Agate Beach

    We walked the beach for agates,
    searching through layers of kelp,
    and pitching all else
    into the deep currents, those

    curling and whirling eddies.
    We threw everything
    except agates in those swirls –
    granite, shale, igneous kidneous,
    that’s what we were, no kidneous,

    rock-throwing kids with thoughts
    of nothing but summer. Yes, that
    was the summer I learnt to throw
    rocks like a boy.

  17. Beach Learning

    Let’s take these children to the beach
    and let them run free on the shore.
    They’ll learn some things we cannot teach
    and find some things they can adore.

    You sit beneath this bit of shade
    and mind they don’t go out too far.
    I’ll bring the sand tools, bucket, spade,
    to sculpt sand mermaid, castle, star.

    We’ll slather sunscreen, give them hats,
    then turn them loose to claim the sea.
    And while they’re occupied with that,
    there might be time for you and me

    to feel the foam and breathe the air,
    to grin at sunlight, pocket shells
    letting them trail us here and there
    and volunteer their shows-and-tells.

    A miracle occurs each time
    the big one takes the young ones’ hands
    to show them in his slowest mime
    to beachcomb so each understands.

    They never learn so well at home
    these same sweet skills we try to teach,
    for they discover, when we come,
    themselves along a sunny beach.

  18. Pingback: A Long Summer on Agate Beach | The Chalk Hills Journal

  19. I Love the Beach

    I can get sand in my hair
    and everywhere
    splash water and be all wet
    let my footprints get
    all over the shore
    and still Mom doesn’t roar
    at me cause I’m makin’ a mess.
    I confess…
    I love the beach more
    than spotless floors
    and cleaning chores.
    At the condo I remove my trunks
    and sand spills out in chunks –
    I cringe, but there’s no tirade.
    Mother says “Leave it for the maid.”
    I’ll say it, preach it, shout with joyful screech –
    Dude, I seriously love the beach.

  20. Warning! Beach Ahead!

    Watch out for the sand
    it’s hot and it burns
    This is the first lesson
    We all quickly learn

    The beach of an ocean
    Or the beach of a lake
    Letting the kids run ahead
    Can be a mistake.

    Crashing white breakers
    Or gentle swells
    “Not a wading pool”
    You show and you tell

    Little fingers clench yours
    As you enter the surf
    You sit in the water
    And feel the sand curve.

    A sand castle project
    All this sand all around
    Add buckets of water
    A new home you have found.

    Sone will become cranky
    Complain it’s too hot
    Poke at their life-vests
    Need to sit on the pot,

    Rosy with sunburn
    It is time to go home
    The car fills with sand
    You will clean it alone.

  21. Swing Lessons (Note: Only 2 or 3 year olds allowed)

    Grab a hand (one mom, one dad)
    Run as fast as your chubby legs can
    Let the hands lift you
    And swing,
    While you squeal and laugh
    Over the giggling tide

  22. Going to the beach
    was not a day’s special treat
    it was life for me.

    Raised in Island home
    birth on bluff above the tide,
    seeded beach in me.

    Going out to play
    just past open garden gate
    beach was there for me.

    Tide-pools, rocks and sand
    sea-treasures washed up on shore
    a playground for me

    Growing by the sea,
    water, beach swept endlessly
    always part of me.

  23. Life’s a Beach – Children

    Rosalie’s Beach

    My baby girl, she waddles to the shore;
    quick! catch her ‘fore she rolls into the sea!
    On sandy beach, she blows her bubbles more;
    upon her lips a laughing song must be.

    My little one who loves the rush of wave
    she giggles now; her bonnet all askew.
    She’s fallen in the sand; she’ll not behave;
    this little fish would charm the ocean blue.

    She frolics by the wanton sea; my girl
    But soon she’ll sleep ; my precious Rosalie.
    Her briny diapers huddle and they swirl;
    the washing wave has tossed them and they flee!

    Now, nod, my little tadpole, in the sun;
    your life; your song; your miracle’s begun.

  24. Time Limits

    Parents have so many rules. I cannot
    go swimming because I just ate an egg?
    And then there are the time limits. An egg,
    maybe a fifteen minute wait, but a sandwich
    and fruit? Forget it, I’d have to wait
    until next summer. ‘Course I could go
    to the edge and make some mud pies,
    then sneak into the water. Nah, they’d know.
    They always seem to know. Still, I hope
    summer lasts forever. Maybe longer!

  25. Pingback: Life’s a Beach – Children |

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