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Spring Meadow

I was one to stare at the restless waves,
Hour after hour on the lonely beach
They filled my despair with the promise
Of forgetfulness and permanence.

I listened with soothing anticipation
For the soft crashing on the shore.
An uncluttered world split three ways-
A fine line between the sky and ocean grey

And the jagged graph the retreating waves
Leave in amber on the moist sands.
I sat detached among empty shells
Content that the sea spray filled the air

Pungent with the rotting seaweeds.
I was the only living thing around-
Contemplating the basic elements
To seasons defined by my clothing.

But lately I return to this wooded meadow
Where seasons rule and force their will.
Where summer is cloaked in shades of green
Which transform to the earthy tones of autumn;

Here the crystalline of the ice storms glare;
And now, before me, trees and shrubs awake,
The sky disappears to the spreading leaves
And I am one small life beneath the canopy,

As spring flowers with birdsong and buzzing;
Yet the fox and snake scatter through the ivies
The spider webs stretch from branch to bough;
Such magnificence among the hidden terror

As all around the unseen butchers of survival
Carry out their missions of life and death-
As I play my part in the proliferation
Renewed with a simple joy to be alive.

Editing stage: 


Thank you for taking me on this contamplating hike along the beautiful line of images and thoughts.


The poem has gone through it's necessary edits. I tried to remove the over-abstractions and I hope I have found the right words to get certain meanings clearer. One big issue was the idea that standing on a beach before the oceans waves...first that there are some beaches where there is no life around, no birds or crabs, and so I was in a "lifeless" domain of elements. Second that there is little change looking at the ocean from the wave line in January or June other than the temperature outside. Does this idea come through?
Lastly, did the idea of the "graph" distract you, or was it ok in the description of what the line of ocean waves leaves on the sand?
Your thoughts are very much appreciated!

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

Yes to the first question, you have created a perfect set of solitude on the beach with only three elements there. The image of the graph is clear to me. Here I played with your words a little. It is not a suggestion to change but more as my question if I understood you:

An uncluttered world
split three ways,
the indinstinguishable line
between the sky, the ocean and myself,
the jagged graph
the retreating waves
draw in amber and empty shells
pungent with the rotting seaweeds,

I was the only being
breathing their mist.

I wonder where were all the birds?
Maybe the wind was too strong?
Or maybe my dream was too deep
to let their screeching havoc in,
into the world
where only three domains exist
the sky, the ocean and myself.


when a poem so inspires another poem. Your poem is a complete poem, and I like it.
I suppose my vision was in the comparison of the a past seeking refuge in the solitude of the beach in contrast to the inland meadow and a different sort of refuge.
I think in my work I saw the first part as thirds you experience on the beach: Sky, Water, Earth, what the ancients called the "elements" , with myself as a silent visitor seeking a zen kind of nothingness from the experience. Then I contrast to the exuberance of life in the meadow, where I take my part with the living.
I really like your poem version, it does offer very expanding feelings and meanings. Perhaps I am trying to capture too many ideas in my poem, in offering and contrasting two distinct landscapes.
But the experiences are honest, and hope to explore a growing acceptance to stop being a existentialist fakir and take in life, with all its changing seasons and brutality.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

Yes, your poem conveys your intention perfectly.
I can relate to it.


"I was one to stare..." An ode to those who stop and look. As you said, you are one small life beneath the canopy, but you show the depth of that one small life, as well as the life you are describing. It's a little confusing why the observer goes from ocean to meadow, except that it gives a bigger picture of the world ecosystem, ALL of the things that the poet is observing. I like the image of pungent rotting seaweed, how the waves (coming in and out) remind you of forgetfulness and permanence at the same time. And I REALLY love the "jagged graph" image. It's probably my favorite in the poem. It immediately conjures the image of suds on the beach, (that's just what it looks like, a graph!). And makes me wonder different things, like, is the poet graphing what he is seeing around him in some way in his mind?

In the process of writing this poem I saw the straight line between the sky and sea as a unique thing in itself, as there are no straight lines in nature other than the sea horizon. You cannot find even a blade of grass which is straight as a ruler. But to use that idea within the metaphysics was just too abstract, so just kept it more simple.
Then there was the shore, and i tried several ideas to describe it and kept coming back to a graph, and meant of it nothing other than a physical description. I was concerned about it though. I suppose subconsciously you are right, those feelings must have gone through my mind, as did the idea of straight lines and nature have associations in my mind.
Thank you for bringing them out!

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment
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