Seaside Sonnet

The ice cream drip of summer days
leaves sticky stains on memories
steeped in salt and vinegar, candy floss,
egg sandwiches and seaside rock.

Faded black and white photos lack
the sunny glare of beach towels,
the welcome rainbow of parasols,
barking dogs and beach balls

bouncing in the sea and then the thrill
of penny arcade and postcard rack,
with a surreptitious peek at rude ones
before choosing several to send back

to family and friends you wished could be
with you beside the seaside, beside the sea.

Kim M. Russell, 28th July 2018


My poem for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Weekend Mini Challenge: At the Seaside also linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry.

I’m looking forward to reading poems in response to my Toads challenge this weekend, which is all about the seaside, postcards and memories of summer holidays.

60 thoughts on “Seaside Sonnet

  1. I adore, really adore this poem. The photograph I am assuming is you as a child… just love. I truly hope to live close to the ocean someday. Sigh. Makes me want to go and write another poem. If I have time I just might as this is one of my favorite topics to write about.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. AH, the job is well done when you can make the reader feel nostalgic for your own lived experience.
    I like the seamless edges of this memory, with the tiny details and that satisfying end of having written a postcard to the loved ones who are absent.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely adore this poem, Kim 💜 The image of “ice cream drip of summer days” brings back memories of long and happy childhood summers 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your opening line is brilliant Kim as is the rest that follows.
    Your words echo my memories of days at the beach too and the wonder the innocence and simple joys of childhood.
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kaykuala

    The ice cream drip of summer days
    leaves sticky stains on memories

    Perfect opening, Kim! The second line is classic, relating ice cream to the memory is a wonderful way to describe it!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Having spent many happy holidays with relatives on the south coast of Britain this was exactly how my memory recalls those years after the end of WW2. Having aunts uncles and grandparents there we could have two lives those of beachgoers and that of locals well as we were so well versed in best beaches, best restaurants and for me the best places for kids spending money in the penny arcades!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We used to get a coach down to the south coast early in the morning and return tired and sandy in the evening after spending the pennies and threepenny bits my nan saved up in an old Robinson’s jam jar!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. On my recent trip to Cape Town my daughter asked me to send her a postcard.. so I did. No easy task to (a) find a postcard (b) buy a stamp (c) find a postbox… needless to say, it has still not reached her.

    Sometimes I feel like an anachronism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean, Kerry! The only postcards I have received over the last couple of years have been from my daughter and one of my friends. I love postcards, sending and receiving them. The choosing of a postcard in another city, a museum or a gallery, for example, is such a private activity, when you are thinking of what you would love to drop through your letterbox and matching it up with the person whose letterbox you want to drop a postcard through – and then it goes out into the world, similar to a poem.


  8. You have set the scene beautifully, and I can feel the anticipation of trying to choose just the right post card and thinking of all one has to say. Sad that sending postcards seems to be a lost art. I would guess the younger generation, in the age of email, will never know the pleasure of sending or receiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Only have one memory of a seaside beach visit, in 1984, dad, younger brother and I visited White Rock, B.C. Famous for its annual sand castle contest. Sadly, no place on the beach for postcards.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The first stanza made me hungry, the second added nostalgia to the hunger, the third made me smirk (in conspiratorial glee), the last… the last made me sigh, there is something about the way your use of repetition makes me want to close my eyes and daydream everyone I love close to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember years ago, when I was trying to explain my thoughts/feelings about a specific event in my life, wishing for the ability to transfer my memories like film with all the senses from my brain to theirs. Now I know that is what poems are for! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a beautiful poem…seaside memories are always the most vivid memories, aren’t they? And I love your contrast of the vibrant memories against the old black and white photograph.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is utterly lovely. You have taken a theme – that so many can relate to – and rendered it exquisitely. I can’t imagine the memory of those magical summer days expressed more evocatively. A pleasure to read!

    Liked by 1 person

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