Winter Retreat

Winter months find the

beach house deserted.

No sandy trails lead in and out.

No half-filled pails, shovels,

sand-covered flip-flops,

half-dried towels or discarded bathing suits

lay in a hodge-podge pile on

the white-railed wooden porch.

The shutters are pulled tight against

ragged winds and spitting tides.

The laughter of summer’s play

has subsided into the short,

dreary days of winter’s respite.

No longer inviting–it sits in silence.

Winter now enjoys the

vacant beaches, its winds

blow unhindered across the frothing tides,

in and out to sea.

Shells, sea glass and drift wood

rest upon the shore untouched,

sand layered over them,

perchance to be discovered

by deliberate search.

Chilly days grow icy

and bitter, offshore gusts

bluster ashore, collapsing waves

upon the gray, empty beach.

The house and shore celebrate

this time alone, savoring

the quiet time for reflection

and rejuvenation–their winter

solstice spiritual retreat.

My entry for Thursday’s Poet’s Rally:   http://promisingpoetsparkinglot.blogspot.com/2011/09/agreement-for-thursday-poets-rally-week_21.html

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71 Comments

  1. Androgoth

     /  September 22, 2011

    I like this one Gayle, you have presented it so very well too with a wonderful description within the lines of your artistry… you know I rather like the beach during the winter months, yes it is cold and rather secluded but it is also very calming with a crispness that freshens the senses…

    Have a most delightfully exquisite
    rest of evening, and a lovely Friday 🙂

    Androgoth Xx

    Like

    Reply
    • The beach here in the winter isn’t so bad really–I was projecting a more severe type of weather for my poem.

      Your comments are so sweet–thanks so much, Androgoth.

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      Reply
  2. Love the beach at winter. Thanks for this delightful portrait. For a moment I was transported to a peaceful shore …

    🙂 You don’t have much of a winter there, do you?

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    • No, we don’t have much of a winter–usually. Sometimes we’ll be surprised by some very harsh, low temperatures. (Below 70 degrees is cold to me!) But our beaches are pretty much pleasant all year round.

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  3. This is simply a poetic symphony of words that leave music in my mind and heart. I love the ocean and see so clearly here all that you have described. I so miss the ocean beaches of my youth and you have brought it back to me. Thank You!

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  4. Makes me want to curl up under a blanket and listen to the waves…

    Beautiful! You have a way with words that create such moods and feelings. Quite inspiring.

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  5. amazing portrayal of the contrast. very beautiful scene formed in mind. a little sad yet hauntingly beautiful. just loved it.

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  6. Gorgeous writing. Both desolate and beautiful.

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  7. Vivid writing!

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  8. this is how i’m feeling about the changing seasons today!

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  9. AAwwww … it reminds me of the days when we had to close up the summer place we rented out in the Hamptons in New York. The deserted beaches, the shutters tightly shut and the furniture covered up with sheets awaiting our return. You have described it so beautifully, Gayle.
    Summer is over and now winter wakes to become the new season.
    Exceptionally emotional write that brought back memories,now, gone..!!!
    Lovely …
    Namaste,
    Izzy xoxoxo

    my entry to the Poets Rally:

    http://insidethemindofisadora.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/yes-how-old-we-get/

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    • Seems like beach houses bring up a lot of memories for people–a common memory that many share. So glad you enjoyed this and the happy thoughts it brought you, Izzy.

      As you well know, winter is still ages away for us!

      Namaste,
      Gayle xoxo

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      Reply
  10. This is so lovely. I walked beachcoming in my imagination. Nothing like that here, the beach is busy all the year round.

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    • Thank you. I love walking along the beach–my eyes are always glued to the sand looking for treasures.

      The beaches here in Florida are always busy too. I pretended it was a beach somewhere very cold. Not here!

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  11. What a beautiful picture of the winter shore.

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  12. Nice. It became cold and lonely towards the end, already a longing when the warm season has only just passed, but you’ve ended it well with a message that perhaps it’s good to use such as a time for reflection instead of activity. Enjoyed reading your poem.

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  13. ‘Chilly days grow icy” lines which greatly arouse the sense of cold numbness, emptiness, yet profound spiritual peace.Great poem.

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  14. Very nice indeed, wintertime on the beach, when the hot days are past and we sit close around the fire dreaming of spring.

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  15. and i just happen tobe retreating atthe beach…though it is only autumn…it def has a different feel than the summer….and hasa bit more peace…this is nicely penned…

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  16. “The house and shore celebrate…this time alone, savoring…the quiet time for reflection” So vivid and beautiful

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  17. amazing seasonal piece.

    lovely entry.

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  18. I like this a lot….the beach gets a retreat from the noise of summer…I enjoy going to the beach on the off season…let the water and wind play its soothing song to my spirit…

    Nice transition from summer to winter

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    • Thanks, Susie. I enjoy the beach mostly in the evenings and the off season too–I like it more to myself than with a crowd.

      I appreciate your comments and visit.

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  19. there is a beach i love to visit about 40km away from where i live. once i visited there with a few of my friends on a winter. we were bored and wanted a retreat. somehow the idea that won was visiting that faraway beach in the dead of winter. luckily there was no snow that day. but the whole area was deserted and bleak, the theme parks were crumbling, devoid of people, the waters were slow and cold. winds stung like needles. some abandoned fishing boats too.
    your poem reminded me of that day, i sure enjoyed the trip but the bleak imagery left me something deeper to be desired. it made me think in a whole different way. this beautiful poem paints the image of that beach perfectly. but after reading completely i would now think of the beach as:
    “savoring
    the quiet time for reflection
    and rejuvenation–their winter
    solstice spiritual retreat.” not anymore about a bleak abandoned scenario. thank you 🙂

    your poems are inspiring and deep. they have become something i love to read and the inspiration and calmness they bring is ethereal. therefore with gratitude i nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Award. 🙂

    http://fallenelegy.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/versatile-blogger-award/

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    • I am so honored not only that you are inspired by my writing but by you nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award as well. Thank you very much–it brings me much gratitude that I have been able to write something that is meaningful to another.

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      Reply
  20. I have never been to a beach ever. I walked along the winter beach shore imagining , while reading your post.
    Beautifully expressed the winter shore:)

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    • So glad I was able to introduce you to a beach in this way. Some beaches are filled with many treasures and the water holds amazing sea animals. I love to enjoy nature at the beach. I’m happy you came by.

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  21. Creatively written, and brilliant imagery. Love it!

    take care
    marinela

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  22. you rock.

    very profound piece.

    🙂

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  23. Cool idea…winter goes on a beach retreat for reflection

    and rejuvenation

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  24. I love the images in this – crisp and tightly woven together to create a real scene. Well done! Here’s mine for this week: http://caridwen.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/drafting-the-orb-weaver/

    Like

    Reply
  25. Kay Salady

     /  September 27, 2011

    This is very well articulated. I’m so very happy to have had the pleasure of reading it. Thank you!

    Like

    Reply
  26. Oh this is lovely, I love the beach when it is alone, vacant and blustery, you have captured it beautifully!

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  27. I do love this one and the whole sense of retreat you create. There is something about off-season emptiness that attracts me–probably the solitude. The introspective nature of winter is so well-portrayed.

    Like

    Reply
    • Thank you, Victoria and so happy to have you back again. I’m a solitude-loving kind of person too–I prefer uncrowded beaches.

      Like

      Reply
  28. Miss Kitten

     /  September 28, 2011

    Just lovely and beautifully descriptive. One doesn’t really give much thought to what goes on with all those summer beach houses and cottages during the long cold winter. I agree that it may seem a bit sad and lonely but they probably welcome the solitude.

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  29. Summer beach homes brim with an abundance of activity and frenzy … but on the other side … the calm of the “off season” provides a solitary retreat worth enjoying! I loved this, Gayle! Thank you for the memories of such a retreat!! 🙂

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    Reply
  30. I’ve visited a beach in winter and your words capture the feelings surrounding it very well! It can be lonesome, but as you also said there is a sense of peace and regathering energy for the hectic pace when the people come back again. Solitude need not be sad. 🙂 Really liked this piece!

    Like

    Reply
    • So true, Corina–solitude can be very restorative. If I don’t get my recommended daily allowance, I won’t feel like myself! 🙂

      I’m very glad you enjoyed this–thanks so much.

      Like

      Reply
  31. “Winter now enjoys the

    vacant beaches,”

    Does a good job of evoking my own love for beaches during the colder months. Have you considered left-aligning your poems? I find they flow better without the center justification.

    Like

    Reply
    • Thank you for your thoughts and comment, Okelle.

      I do left-align some of my poems–I really hadn’t thought about the flow being less when centered though. Thanks for sharing your observation.

      Like

      Reply
  32. Very visual, wonderful choice and flow of words. Lovely poetry.

    Like

    Reply
  33. A.B. Thomas

     /  October 2, 2011

    Fantastic write, it’s a very grey piece, it could have been dark but its a sedate mood that looks toward the resurgence of summer.

    Like

    Reply
    • I appreciate your compliment, A.B.–thank you. Yes, I made it more of a time of retreat than bleak darkness–makes a difference doesn’t it.

      Like

      Reply
  34. Thanks for the link and the nomination–you’re a sweetheart!

    Like

    Reply
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