Lives Converge

Green Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle; Bing Images

As if held in mid air, undulating waves
support your massive-shelled form
our eyes lock, human and turtle merge.
For an instant, I see your life engraved
in my mind, struggles, survival…warm
currents drifting you on long-distance surges.
You mirror my own life, enslaved
through my making, a land storm
not the sea, just held on the verge
of contentment, joy, my soul saved,
and yet, like you, I continue to conform,
to deny myself freedom, afraid to emerge.
We follow paths that seemingly diverge,
yet here, where we meet, our lives converge.

Samuel Peralta invites us to try a Trireme Sonnet and other interesting ideas at dVerse Poets:

Originally this posting exhibited a painting of a sea turtle by my sister.  It has been replaced by a photo from Bing.  For some reason her photo disappeared from this posting.

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  1. nice…loggerheads are cool….i saw some in mexico when we went a few years ago…i like how you linked your stories as well…the struggle…on the meta scale we are all in this together…and so all our stories human and otherwise entwine at points….but separate as well…i am glad joy saved your soul…nice on the form gayle


    • Those loggerheads are amazing…it’s always a big treat to see them on the beach. You are so right, Brian..all of us are in this together…animals and nature in all her splendor. Thank you too.


  2. That’s a lovely painting by your sister 🙂

    I like the personal share of your journeys and challenges ~ The couplet specially speaks of the strong bond, of lives converging ~ Good work on the form too ~


    • She has quite a talent…I’m very proud of her. Thanks, Grace.

      It can be quite a powerful experience when you have occasion to join with another species. I personally love when that happens.


  3. Well, if your life is indeed anything like a sea turtles, it should be easier to slip out of streams then you are imagining. ‘Tis a powerful critter, as I am sure are you.


    • Thank you for this generous comment, Sabio. I think we’re all powerful critters…if we but acknowledge it..


  4. As I’ve said, I truly enjoy ekphrastic poems, and when the poem and art are together, they enhance each other for me like nothing else. And here, you begin with a wonderful piece of art that looks at its subject matter – the turtle – from a unique perspective, straight at it. Then, you turn this with your trireme sonnet into a metaphor of a life, of a way of living, free yet constrained, as, in a sense, we all are.


    • I’ve been blessed to see these magnicifent animals on several occasions in the wild. It’s something I’ll never forget; they are so majestic. I’ve done one other of these ekphrastic poems and may come to use that form again. I like the connection there of the two art forms. Thank you, Sam, for a wonderful Form-For-All and your nice commentary here…and I hope one day to be able to write a proper sonnet.


  5. such a lovely painting…have never seen one in real only on photos and they just look majestic how they glide through the water.. nice bit of thoughts on life embedded here as well gayle..


    • I love this piece that my sister painted…one of my favorites. I have seen these loggerheads on the beaches…mostly the females while laying their eggs or on their way back into the water. Thank you, Claudia.


  6. What a nice combination of art and poetry, also making paralell to yourself, that’s true art. Well done.


  7. First of all, that is a stunning picture that your sister painted. I have a fascination with sea turtles myself, have seen them on occasion, and could watch them for hours. Secondly, I really liked your poem….can picture the eyes of your locking with the eyes of the turtle & the thoughts flowing between. I enjoyed the comparison of the turtle’s life to your own, the empathy for the turtle, and perhaps his/her empathy for yours. The last couplet is wonderful…enjoyed the idea of the lives converging for a moment in time (connection made) and then diverging once more. I want to tell you that I think this poem is one of your best from my perspective.


    • I have a fascination with them too, Mary. There’s nothing quite like seeing their shadowy form while walking at night on the beach or watching a female lay her eggs. I love connecting with nature, animals, etc. These kinds of experiences really seem to affect me. And I’m so glad you enjoyed this as one of your favorites, Mary…that means a lot to me.


  8. Laurie Kolp

     /  March 1, 2013

    This is wonderful, Gayle. I really like the 2nd and 3rd trireme.


  9. Great use of the form. Well done, I really like this.


  10. do like anything with sea… i like how you made is personal


  11. Your sister’s painting is amazing; your use of it as a springboard to a fresh metaphor for life is imaginative and successful.

    I’d suggest adding a couple of words to the heroic couplet: either which or that after “paths”, and when or where after “here,” – both will help in clarifying your meaning.


    • I’m so glad I was successful in this form…well, maybe not in the true sense of being a proper sonnet…but I liked what I tried to convey. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me and your critique…I appreciate that, Tony.


  12. I love this one, Gayle. I’ve had that feeling of holding an animal’s eyes with mine and feeling as one with them. It’s awesome. It’s such an honor, really.


  13. …life stories take in different form, shape & presentation but all differences boils down to one single connectivity & familiar scenes… i handle this as double treat of celebrating life thru poetry… a well crafted sonnet & deeply expressed ode to life forms… enjoyed it a lot and lovely painting from your sister… smiles…


    • How right you are, Kelvin…I like how you put that. And thank you for a lovely comment…so glad that you enjoyed this…will pass on that compliment to my sister too.


  14. What a beautiful poem! I read it out loud and it is even more beautiful … it’s so interesting that lives can converge in such a way and your metaphor and analogies are pitch perfect. As Kelvin said it does boil down to one single connectivity … the patterns of life although many do have a universality to it and different bodies pass through these patterns … you’ve got my noodle reflecting deeply tonight my friend.


    • Well, thank you, Laf. Yes, Kelvin is very astute…so true about the universal connection we share. Nature connections seem to especially excite me.


  15. My goodness: You come from an artful family don’t you.
    The is a beautiful post. I love it, poem and painting, and the fact that it’s a family affair.


    • Thank you, Jamie. Yes, quite a talented family. My sister has this painting hanging in her house and I happened to see it on her FB page and the inspiration hit me immediately. I love when that happens!


  16. Beautiful paintings with beautiful words ….. a magnificent creature to observe and see.


  17. What a wonderful painting and what talent your sister has in her art.. and what talent you have for capturing imagination with your poems,,,,,,,,,, The turtles are so very special.. xox


    • Thanks so much, Sue and on behalf of my talented sister too. She and our mother both seem attracted to nature scenes. This one of the turtle is one of my favorites of hers…they are very special…I agree. xoxo


  18. Loved the feelings your poem aroused in me, Gayle. I was lucky enough once to swim with several, large Green Sea Turtles on my short visit to Hawaii. The experience of having them so close I could almost reach out and touch them, and being in the same…place/bubble (that’s not the right word, but I don’t know how to describe it) was amazing. “Converge” is exactly the right term for it!

    For some reason, turtles have always turned up at strange and important times in my life. Perhaps one of my totem animals. Perhaps one of YOURS, too! 🙂 The painting your sister did is wonderful! What a neat perspective she did, and I love the texture she has going on in the piece.


    • You don’t soon (if ever) forget an encounter with one of those enormous creatures. I remember you mentioning before about seeing them on your visit to Hawaii. I don’t take these sightings lightly either…very auspicious…I pay attention! I also have had many occasions where I’ve seen or been around peacocks. Now what kind of totem animal is that?! 🙂

      I love that painting too…one of my favorites that my sister has painted. She and our mother are very accomplished artists.



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