View from Sea to Shore

The coastline is a rugged spine of cliff,
rocky ribs rise and fall with each breath
of wind and wave that shift the distant skiff.
Its feet are firm and solid in the depths
of tides that loosen roots and bits of stones
like rotten teeth; they tumble to the beach
with salty water sucking at the bones.
By high tide, sandy walks are out of reach,
the swell has all but washed away the scree;
a veil of fog creeps towards the shore,
a muted pearly light over the sea,
and sips the salt-stained lighthouse like a straw:
the coastline and its rugged spine of cliff
battered by waves that shift the distant skiff.

Kim M. Russell, 1st November 2018

Image result for free images Stormy sea battering cliffs with lighthouse"

My response to Poets and Storytellers United Weekly Scribblings #3: Salt-water poems

Sanaa is back with this week’s prompt, a quote from Zorba the Greek and two wonderful poems: ‘Dover Beach’ by Matthew Arnold and ‘The Sea Is History’ by Derek Walcott.

Sanaa says that the sea is emotion made manifest and she believes its voice speaks to the soul and evokes memories. She wants us to be inspired by the sea and explore its depths. We can use it as a simile or metaphor, or even as a contrast, in poems or prose (which we should keep to 369 words or fewer).

I’ve reworked ‘Coastline Terzanelle’, which I wrote and posted back in November 2018, into a sonnet.

31 thoughts on “View from Sea to Shore

  1. This is beyond beautiful, Kim!! 💝 I am in absolute awe of the exquisite inner-workings of this sonnet 😀 the tone and various shades and images are simply to die for! 😍😍 Especially love;

    “a veil of fog creeps towards the shore,
    a muted pearly light over the sea,
    and sips the salt-stained lighthouse like a straw,”

    Thank you so much for writing to the prompt! 💝

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the vividness of the imagery, starting with the first two lines. In my mind’s eye, I see the “rocky ribs” going up and down at the rhythm of the coastline’s heart. It is so wonderful how your description takes the waves and makes them dance in such a way that the reader’s eye is convinced that it’s not the water moving, but the rock.

    I went back to read the 2018 poem and liked it. But I love the sonnet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a child of the prairie, 18 years old before I ever saw the ocean. You create such lovely word scenes I find myself closing my eyes and I swear I smell sea salt!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thinking of a coastline with feet in the sea, and how the sea giveth and taketh away, sucking the sand right out from under. The scene moves, and yet the skiff is locked ion the waves forever, I think, never making it to shore. Sometimes I feel this way. Beautiful sonnet.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the visual of “…bits of stones
    like rotten teeth; they tumble to the beach
    with salty water sucking at the bones.” an apt description of coastal erosion.
    I can see the coast, feel the power of the waves and smell the saltwater air.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I must write a sonnet soon
    Sure I’ll read the rules once more
    Well it has been a long time but I like form poems, writing and reading. This one is delicious, sort of vicious.
    My favorite part,
    :tides that loosen roots and bits of stones
    like rotten teeth; they tumble to the beach
    with salty water sucking at the bones.”
    ..

    Liked by 1 person

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