Posts Tagged ‘Dover Beach’

Sand Beach

June 13, 2018

(With appreciation of Matthew Arnold’s poem, Dover Beach)

The Ocean is strong  today.

The waves roll in; the sun is bright

upon the Pacific. In this island surf the light

sparkles and tumbles; the rocky shores stand,

steadfast and vast, under a friendly sun.

Let’s do the beach; this afternoon’s energy is vigorous.

But hey! from this long splash of spray,

where sea meets the sun-kiss’d land—

Sand1

Listen! we hear the pounding roar

of sand grains which the waves draw back, and fling,

forever, upon this high strand.

Beginning and ceasing, and then beginning again,

with a forceful rhythm it perseveres, to roll

The eternal resonance of wonder in.

Dear Matthew, back in the day,

heard this on the North Sea, and it brought

into his mind the ponderous ebb and flow

of our melancholy brood; we

hear it still the same; yet with that lamenting we discern

a reverberating of relentless purpose

in this pounding Pacific shore.

Oh sea of faith!

Persistent and unrelenting, all ‘round our earth’s shore—

you flap forever like folds of a bright banner unfurled.

Although I also feel

that ancient melancholy, the long, withdrawing roar,

retreating, in the breath

of the evening wind, laden with our roiling refugees

and the uncared-for masses of the world.

Oh, people, let us be true

To one another! For the world, which seems

to boil before us like a pot of strife—

so disjointed, so distraught, so stubbornly the same,

really has somewhere some joy, love, and even flashes of benevolence,

some certainty— here and there a little peace— even some easing of the pain,

while we here on this fragg’ed globe

get swept with fake news and tweeting dweebs who incite us,

as ill-informed combatants clash with their devices.

Glass Chimera

Advertisements

Dover Breach

August 23, 2014

The air is mad tonight

electric with fright

but drugged with fluff and flight:

hear no evil, see no blight.

America in cyber slumber swoons

while England grooms jihad goons

like 1937 fascist blackshirts

deflowering 2014 democratic skirts.

France ( peace be upon her)

seethes with same old same old stir–

that angst witch discontent doth incur

from yonder barricaded former age

now slit with new jihadi rage.

 

The air of Faith

so thin of late

as most prefer to flirt with fate

now cringes in this new birth of hate;

its melancholy, long withdrawing gasp

retreating fast, like slithering asp

unable now to grasp

with slipping grips unfurled

the naked idols the world.

 

Ah, good Christian, let us be true

to one another! for the world, which casts its spell

of rebel chaos and decadent hell,

has no power when all’s said and done

to set our ancient faith upon the run,

though the infernal note of madness floods every byte

while polar extremists clash by night.

 

(This poem’s form was adapted from Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach.)

Smoke

Lover Beach

June 27, 2012

The Ocean is tidy this morning.

the tide is half; the sun comes up

over the swells; Lanai and Molokai loom

across the choppy blue. Old Maui volcano sleeps,

cloudy and vast, heart of the island.

Come to the veranda; bright is the sky!

 

Always, from the breaking waves

where Pacific pelts this sun-kiss’d isle,

Listen! you hear the roaring power

of our planet that flings up watery wings

and pulls them down again on shifting sand.

Roar, and whisper, and roar again

with cyclical slumber to lose and win

a perpetual thrust of planetary din.

 

Poet Arnold felt it long ago

among the pebbles of Dover beach, summoning

the futile strands of faithlessness

and existential woe; I

find instead the inevitability of faith

called up to bloom upon this far-flung ocean isle.

 

The ocean of despair

so near and far in present past, to pound us down on human shores,

throws its tantrum of pointless angst, with cynic sand.

But now I only feel the wave of our resolve

upon a flagg’ed pole of hope,

advancing, in the sun-stirred air

of dawning day, o’er the bright edges of our vision,

as lilies of the field.

 

Ah, love, let us be true

to one another! for the world, which seems

to pound upon us like a surf of strife,

so relentless, so provocative, so hard,

has a terrible power all its own

that would dash our love and hope in forceful blight.

But we here on our sun-bathed isle,

caressed with waves of love and delight–

we subdue the heartless poundings of the night.

 

Glass half-Full