The Gulf

Traversing the bridge

High above the yawning gulf

The palest, clear, teal-tinted water

Flashes below as if flung

Far and wide with glinting crystals

The sun’s mirrors refracted into a million prisms

It’s the color–that color–that transfixes my awe

Never have I seen water of such delicate hue

I can’t wait to dip my feet into–

And feel the temperate beauty of this basin

And to search its fine, powdery beach for treasures–

Lacy sea fans, starfish, sand dollars–mottle-patterned tritons

Thin, delicate augers of such diminutive size and frailty

Ear shells, naticas–like blank, staring eyes, turrets and spindles

Scallops of deep mauve and pale pink

Smooth, shiny olives and gnarled, rough lion’s paws

Perfectly formed and intact, I find them

How have they survived the passage

Through the massive, watery cosmos of the sea

To be laid gently ashore–whole and unbroken at my feet

Shells found in the gulf...

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  1. This makes me want to go out shell hunting. It is so summer-y.

    Beautifully written,



  2. what a gorgeous description. just loved it. its so beautiful and vivid.


    • Thank you, Trisha. I love the gulf coast–it’s so pretty and there’s so many shells to discover. I enjoy it so much.


      • i have seen ocean only twice in my entire life, how i long i could live near one 🙂


        • You would love it–I just know it. And you would find a lot of inspiration for writing too. 🙂

          Lots of love…


  3. jgavinallan

     /  July 7, 2011

    This is so summer-y—good description, Izzy
    I love the easy flow of the words…so talented…sooooo jealous


    • It is a good description–very summer-y past time.

      Thanks so much for your generous words–as always.

      Gayle xoxo


  4. Hema

     /  July 11, 2011

    Wow…so well described. Feel like going to a beach right now!


  5. This is really lovely. So descriptive of beachcoming, reminded me of finding abalone shells on Melbourne beach some years ago. I was in the Gulf 35 years ago and remember that clear sparkling water so well.
    Hope you don’t mind me saying but I think the 9th line would be better without the ‘it’.


    • Thanks so much, Tigerbrite–I appreciate that. I always prefer going to the gulf side beaches as opposed to the Atlantic side–big difference.

      I didn’t mind at all and I think you’re right. I’m going to change it–thanks!


  6. How indeed? And your words are so perfect and intact as some of them…


  7. very detailed and well fine tuned words.
    perfect imagery.


  8. Not only does it vividly illustrate, the sounds whistle as if the wind in the shells was responsible.


  9. A beautifully worded poem, and some wonderful shells too, Gayle 🙂 quite the combination.

    A Poetic World – My Potluck Post


  10. A beautiful depiction of the seashore and its treasures. Nice write!


  11. beautiful… I enjoyed the journey and specially liked your last lines…

    ‘Through the massive, watery cosmos of the sea
    To be laid gently ashore–whole and unbroken at my fee’

    Thanks for joining in Poetry potluck WK 43 that I have hosted this week for the first time… hope to see you again…

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    At Twitter @VerseEveryDay


    • Hi Shashi, so nice to see you here and thanks for hosting our potluck this week.

      I’m glad you liked my poem too–thank you.



  12. I love collecting these treasures…. lovely lines :

    “The sun’s mirrors refracted into a million prisms
    It’s the color–that color–that transfixes my awe
    Never have I seen water of such delicate hue”


  13. wow this is beautiful…some fine touches the lace of the waves…the prism of the sun..oh you had me there and then a rather beautiful close as well…


  14. hedgewitch

     /  July 30, 2011

    You took me back to some of my favorite summers, prowling North Padre Island, and the shell and souvenir shops, and the amazing long white beaches and blue water. I love your descriptions of the shells–you bring each into focus for the unique thing it is–relic of a life lived in the great ocean soup.


    • I’m glad I could bring some nice memories to mind for you Hedgewitch. Shelling is one of my favorite past times when I’m on the gulf.


  15. I do believe I know why I like the beach now…


  16. This reminds me so much of our days spent every day at our favourite cove here. We would take our little dog Tim with us and the beach wakls became as much his, as ours. It was a wild beach, wasn’t looked after by anyone and so it was rough and rugged but, it always had beach glass, glittering and sparkling from still being wet. It was all colours but, finding blue was always the prize because blue beach glass was one of the rarest finds.
    We’d look for stones that had a complete circle of another colour around them (legend says its lucky to find one) shells of course, and feathers.
    Your lovely prose bought it all back so freshly in my mind.


    • I love finding beach glass too and interesting rocks, pieces of drift wood–and feathers–I love feathers. Pretty much, I’m looking down most of the time while walking on the beach. 🙂

      I’m so glad I could bring back some nice memories for you.


  17. Oh, wow, how did they survive indeed? Enjoyed walking along the ocean’s shore with you on this one . Just lovely thank you.


  18. Thin, delicate augers of such diminutive size and frailty
    Ear shells, naticas–like blank, staring eyes, turrets and spindles
    Scallops of deep mauve and pale pink

    I loved these lines in particular. Thank you for sharing your glittering poem and the lovely photo.


  19. Gorgeous, sublime, serene, shelled: all of it I call home, too, though I live 50 miles inland in Florida. Yesterday I was near Cocoa Beach with my mother & her sister’s family to celebrate the birthday my mother and I share, separated by a week — something so natal and sweet about walking the hot shore with my 84 year old mother, a place of beginnings and transitions. Thanks for making those moments most presciently present again here. And glad to hear that the Gulf continues on, despite our human ravages.


    • Well I wonder if we’re next door neighbors–I live about 50 miles inland too. And my oldest daughter and I share a birthday, separated by a day.

      Yes, it sounds very sweet to be able to walk with your mother on the beach–such a relaxing activity though the heat can be a bit much to bear these days.

      The Gulf continues on–its capacity for life still very strong. I’m so grateful for that. Thanks for sharing with me, Brendan.


  20. Very nice. How do such gentle shells survive the sea? There is something magical in that.


  21. Let’s just hope we can keep on enjoying these moments and memories…we have lost so much, my fear is that one day all that will remain will be pieces like this, to remind us of how dearly we treasure that which we also so often take for granted. Thought this a wonderful journey, thank you!


    • I agree with your comment here. We can’t continue on like we have with these natural treasures–and turn a blind eye.

      Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts with me.



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