Broken Shells

Loch Ness Shoreline

Image via Wikipedia

She stood at the edge of the shore’s tideland

Staring hard at something that can’t be seen

Broken shells and seaweed are etched in the sand

Curiously watching, as I’ve heard it firsthand

She’s pining for her lover who was lost in the sea

She stood at the edge of the shore’s tideland

There’s a paleness about her and a state of dreamland

Her eyes never waver from this horizon’s scene

Broken shells and seaweed are etched in the sand

A girl of eighteen when her man met his end

Time was stopped suddenly, no longer routine

She stood at the edge of the shore’s tideland

It’s been forty years that she’s continued her scan

Black garb she wears of silken sateen

Broken shells and seaweed are etched in the sand

The legend of this romance that once was so grand

Now has no survivors–who could have foreseen

She stood at the edge of the shore’s tideland 

Broken shells and seaweed are etched in the sand

My entry for The Gooseberry Garden, Poetry Picnic Week 7:  Love and Loss

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  1. The sea is a merciless beast……


  2. what a wonderful phrase – broken shells and seaweed etched in the sand..beautiful


  3. The seafaring life was hard on those who went out and those left behind. Beautifully illustrated by you in this poem. Thank you! I love anything about the sea.


  4. Lovely, lovely poem! Your words come to life and describes vividly your subject.

    Thank you for visiting my blogs. ; )


    • Oh, I had to think a moment of who you are. I discovered your wonderful blogs yesterday–nice to see you here. Thank you for your visit and kind comment.

      You’re welcome…


  5. The sea has swallowed up a lot of poor souls. I’m glad you enjoyed this today, Jamie.


  6. this is just heavenly. you portrayed the melancholia so perfectly.


  7. gracefulglider

     /  January 24, 2011

    Lovely poem Gayle and love the repetion of
    ‘Broken shells and seaweed are etched in the sand’

    ….i have a friend who would have become a lover out at sea… though i know it will never be… i still pray for him.. i really connect with this..


    • Thank you so very much, Wanjiku. That would be difficult–to love someone who’s work was out at sea. There are many who are lost that choose that way of life. Happy to see your visit today. xoxo


  8. This is a pretty villanelle. Sad, but written very well. The ache for a lost love can span time.


  9. This reminds me of the play Riders of the Sea by John Millington Synge.

    “Broken shells and seaweed are etched in the sand.” Repeated, it sums up a feeling of sorrow but also hope. Things “etched” in sand usually are washed away.


    • Thanks for the link, Apollorose, I had not heard of this play. How tragic. As I read the story and it said that Bartley was going to go off to sell his horse, I did not see it coming that he would be the last of the men in the family to lose his life to the sea. It’s beyond tragic!

      Thanks for sharing this with me. You’re right too about the etchings being washed away. That’s exactly what those shore waves do.


  10. Fantastic imagery…
    I love your work 🙂


  11. Awh, the dark side of the sea. . .love lost. Beautiful imagery.


  12. sad, powerful piece.

    Thanks for the wishes in my place

    Happy Poetry Picnic.


  13. Very nice write, Gayle. Vivid in it’s mood and scene. I could imagine sharp edges of broken shells pricking my feet, and the cool of seaweed and and sand. Love this lonely story.


  14. So sad!!But somehow beautiful as true love always is!Every word struck a chord.Almost made me cry!Especially because I love the sea.Beautiful write!


  15. nice mellow mood that tells a nice story- great work gayle! this week’s gooseberry..


  16. Dear Gayle

    Ahh!!! So much longing and even after so many decades… it resonates within her… Its beautiful…. just like the “Broken shells and seaweed are etched in the sand”

    Thanks for sharing. Look forward to your entry in the coming poetry picnic week 8 theme “Friends, relationship… ”


    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya


    • Thank you, Shashi–for such a generous comment. And I appreciate you coming by–I know how busy you must be.

      Gayle ~



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