The beaches are opened. The Lifeguards are at their stations, the seagulls congregate and the sands are hot. What can you hear? We are looking for poems about the sounds heard at lake/ocean side. Be descriptive and bring these sounds to life. Let us hold your poem to our ears and allow us to hear the scene you describe.

93 thoughts on “JULY COVID-19 P.A.D. – DAY 3 A DAY AT THE BEACH

  1. ON THE SHORE IN MY MIND OF THOUGHT, by Walter J Wojtanik

    On this raucous shore I ponder,
    waves that crash in wonder,
    children’s screams and laughter
    chasing dreams they’re after
    and birds that screech and cackle,
    thoughts that invade like rebel raiders
    wreaking havoc on my serene demeanor
    only to incite and ignite these thoughts
    into incendiary words. My stillness stirs
    like a crystalline ocean – deep and blue,
    and you are the lover of all things
    that desire has destroyed. I hear much
    along this shore of hope and dreams
    in my mind of thought to occupy my days.

  2. Sans

    We Planned
    a trip to Sarasota to see my cousin’s son’s
    Off-off-Broadway play. But the pandemic,
    hand of micro-management, intervened.

    The hand of micro-management. A seagull,
    surfing the wind with occasional squawks,
    sees me admiring this thing in my hand–maybe
    a chocolate filled with ganache, maybe

    a french fry. I’m on a short pier, wind
    slapping my hair around. And the choppy
    little surf in the shelter of Longboat Key
    slaps the pilings with baby strength. I gaze
    at my anticipated bite, icon that it is. A brown
    pelican on one foot eyes me, covertly.

    Then in a shutter’s click, an eyelash of time,
    what would have been is gone. I feel
    like a palm tree with the breeze sunk to nil.
    Merengue gone heavy in the humidity, I

    still have the finches, and the wind chime
    and the rolling curl of wind in the oaks.
    But who knows when those might be

    suddenly snatched.

  3. S

    Beach Bunny Rag

    Just twenty miles from our home to the beach,
    a change in our mood so easy to reach,
    only twenty minutes away from our dry local air,
    savoring moisture in our oceanside lair.
    We love our two nests, both seasoned with love,
    Spirit surrounds us, within us, above.
    Our friends like it too, their joy adds a spice,
    three parts of playful, one jigger of vice.
    Our lives are as perfect as any fine thing,
    no matter the season, it’s always our spring.

  4. I wish it were so

    That we could enjoy a day at the beach
    without fear
    without concern

    for if it were, we’d be planting ourselves
    along a beach
    under summer sun
    waves lapping against the sand
    surf rolling in and sliding back
    gentle breeze coming in from the lake
    gulls crying circling
    moving in to snatch our lunch
    on towels spread out
    they’re looking for an easy lunch

    Hot sand under bare feet
    toes squishing into the sand
    imprinting the grains underfoot
    shovelling wet sand into bucket
    to help little ones build sand castles
    we’ve slathered the sun screen over them and us
    against the summer sun
    to beat the rays that would burn

    No hot dog stands
    we bring our own lunch
    in basket packed with ice
    cold drinks against the heat
    something easy to hold

    a nap on the beach towel
    and another dip
    or swim in the lake
    refreshing against the heat.

    © Carolyn Wilker


    It has been decades
    since my daily walks on the
    beaches of Naples.

    In the seventies,
    there was nearly only the
    sound of lapping waves;

    squish of my feet in
    wet sand, as I searched vast blue
    for sign of dolphin;

    long call of seagulls,
    and complaints of pelicans
    on the Naples pier

    while early morning
    fishermen spoke soft and low,
    not sharing their catch.

    Then there was the chant
    of the old sun worshiper
    on his worn prayer rug.

    Things are diff’rent now,
    for the now-crowded beaches,
    and for me, up north.

    “This is not the Gulf.”
    (I Erie’ly hear my voice.)
    “No fins to see, here.”

    © Marie Elena Good, 2020

    Funny how after even decades have passed, I still scan Lake Erie for dolphin fins, as I did the Gulf of Mexico when I was in high school. Some habits never die, I guess.

        • I like the line, personally, but the capitalization jars me… I want the readerr to put it all together without the push… Guess I would gently suggest adding Erie into title since we all know what “Gulf” is… but it’s our first reference to Erie unless I misread… Especially love the triplets about the fishermen–superb three lines to me. Just thinking outloud. I’ve re-read several times–getting more of the “gulf” between the north and south and its differences within these waters.

            • PAT: Oh, not at all, Pat! I asked for opinions, because I honestly want and appreciate them.

              I don’t care at all for my final stanza. The tone of it just doesn’t fit the rest of my poem. I originally wanted to capture how amusing I find it that even though it has been decades since living near the Gulf of Mexico, I still look for dolphin fins in the waters up here on Lake Erie. But I am now thinking this poem should hold its tone, and simply be about my years on the beaches of the Gulf. I could retitle it, and write a completely different ending.

              CAROLYN, you suggested leaving out the adverb altogether. I think that’s a good idea. If I try to retain that stanza, I’ll need to rework it to be in keeping with the 5/7/5 syllable count of the poem. Totally do-able, I’m sure.

              DEBI: Thanks much! I enjoy the wordplay, but I think it just really doesn’t fit the tone of the rest of my poem. When I came back this morning to see if anyone had commented, and re-read my poem, I felt like the difference is a bit jarring.

              Thanks to you all for the input! I appreciate it! And “waves” to my Poetic Partner across our shared lake! Good morning, WALT!

  6. Da Capo al fine

    Along a spit of land off Veracruz
    I stand alone in this concealed cove
    nudged into shore by the Gulf of Mexico
    not much more than a rocky scallop
    sand and sea and silence

    broken only by screaming terns
    slicing white clouds above distant waves
    their imagined lapping gentle firm
    a bit of foam curling beneath
    swallow-tailed kites’ piercing whistle
    alarmed perhaps by my presence

    but here between my feet ocean
    soundless except for the tiniest touch
    of lips on wet rock gentle kisses
    a lover seeking to be sated

    but like the clangor of percussion my feet
    squelch loudly even as I tiptoe through
    shimmering sand filling rapidly with crystal
    water each print mirroring two o’clock sun

    reflecting from the backs of darting blue crab
    skitterings more seen than heard
    their tumbling iridescence shushing like chiffon
    dancers taking the stage
    as they enter/exit en masse from their dune caves
    miniscule avalanches crashing in their wake
    grain by grain falling beneath shining claws

    so that I lean to listen to this delicate composition
    in this secluded concert hall
    its startling acoustics cupping

    first the proffered kiss swiftly followed by another
    ocean lips on polished lava

    then skitterings like brush on snare

    the muffled beat of sand grains pooling on wet toes

    followed by a four second count

    Da Capo al Fine.


    The warm sun on my skin
    does not compare to the warmth
    of having my friend by my side.

    The susurration of the ocean waves
    sings a harmony to my soul
    that I didn’t know I was seeking.

    The tickle of the sand on my feet
    wakes every part of me
    to the wonder life is offering.

  8. Kayaking

    My kayak paddles dip and splash
    I shift with a scrunch in my seat
    Dragonflies zing by in a flash
    I paddle to a rhythmic beat
    Ducks quacking by so near my feet
    Deep fishermen voices on shore
    Fish plop in a hasty retreat
    There’s nothing that I enjoy more

  9. Ocean Opera

    Sand shushes
    next to my blanket–
    quick steps of a
    child heading
    for the water. Squawk!
    Squawk! Seagulls land
    to pick through sand,
    scavenging for food,
    claw marks in code.
    Whoosh! White waves
    climb and roll to shore
    with roaring splash.

    “Mom, look at this
    shell I found.”

    “Let’s build
    a castle.” Pails
    and shovels click

    Briny scent sails
    through the air,
    touches my hair
    and lips with salt.

  10. Early morning at the beach,
    we start out on the boardwalk,
    the whir of bicycle wheels and
    the pounding of running shoes
    not quite drowning out the
    insistent roar of breaking waves.

    Faintly, another sound, one that is
    somehow out of place here on the
    salty breeze, unnaturally loud
    although still far away. What I hear
    makes no sense at the beach
    where one hears gulls and water
    and children’s laughter in the distance.

    We walk toward the sound, heading north to
    a spot where the crowds have thinned. At last,
    suspicions confirmed, I see him,
    a lone piper on the sand, his mournful
    dirge competing with the sounds of
    surf and sea;, clashing, then melding
    with the waves on the sand.

  11. Beachless

    There are no beaches in this place
    No surf or sun-warmed sand
    Where the horizon’s been erased
    and sky and earth embrace

    But here, beneath a maple tree
    The grass is soft and cool
    And breezes whisper to the leaves
    And set my spirit free

    ( I think this calls for more stanzas – someday)

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