This Poem was Submitted By: marilyn terwilleger On Date: 2003-11-18 16:04:09 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Day At The Beach

Ribbons of exuberant waves splash and spill on sandy soil Beyond crested caves, atop the glassy ocean, sun's rays sprinkle a path of sparkling diamonds Terns with webbed feet, knobby knees, and pointed beaks saunter past my beach chair Some stop to stare with imploring, unblinking eyes mooching a meal Streamlined cranes soar above the ocean's lid In an unparalleled acrobatic feat their bodies become an arrow that spears ocean's cover As I gaze across this gigantic water expanse my heart is heavy with tears Beyond the horizan and around the corners is a war ripped world with    hordes of humanity    who cannot see    this calm and    tranquil Day at the beach

Copyright © November 2003 marilyn terwilleger

Additional Notes:
I just returned from Florida where I wrote this while eating key lime pie and sipping champagne. I intended to change the form but decided to post it as it was written

This Poem was Critiqued By: Elaine Marie Phalen On Date: 2003-12-07 21:25:26
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.92857
Hi Marilyn: The ironic juxtaposition of familiar beach experiences with the distant and horrific events of war is well done. The visual "pathway" tracked at the end is also effective. Ribbons of exuberant waves splash and spill on sandy soil Beyond crested caves, atop the glassy ocean, sun's rays sprinkle a path of sparkling diamonds This whole openeing strophe is laced with wonderful sisbilant sounds that hiss and sigh like the tide over the sand. Nice alliteration of sprinkle/sparkling, as well. This is intensely visual but possesses a tactile element in the sun's warmth and the motion of the water. "Crested caves" is an interestingly fresh image. The second strophe moves to the human aspect of the piece, and also gives the terns an anthropomorphic character, capable of casual freeloading. Love the knobby knees! Their imploring, unblinking eyes" remind me of beggars on street corners, or even refugees; this sets us up for the last few lines. Our terns here are usually Arctic birds that never land, so these must be very different. Then you move to the sky-flying cranes whose aerial antics seem designed to entertain, yet are actually useful in detecting food for which they dive. "The ocean's lid" and later "ocean's cover" are wonderful metaphors! I think of a gleaming stovetop on an old-fashioned wood-burner, or a stainless steel pot lid. Yet the arrow of the birds can penetrate it, so this cover is obviously not really metallic. Something delicate can still survive and use the ocean for its own gain. But the terns' "pointed" beaks and the crane that drops like an "arrow" and "spears" the sea are foreshdwoing a nastier situation elsewhere. The fourth strophe refers to the speaker's heartache and tears; "war ripped" leads from the cheerful seashore to a much grimmer picture that follows in zigzag structure. [sp: horizon] The "hordes of humanity" on the other side of the world are unable to share in such simple joy, for their harsh lives won't permit it. Closing with "day at the beach" brings back the prosaic idea of an ordinary outing - at least, ordinary for most North Americans. This makes the reader stop to reflect on his or her own blessings, and shows us that we must appreciate what we have, while being aware that others aren't so fortunate. It's an especially topical theme so close to the holidays. Well done. Now, I must have a chat with my conscience. Take Care, Brenda

This Poem was Critiqued By: Erzahl Leo M. Espino On Date: 2003-12-07 17:25:33
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.72727
Hi Marilyn, You just don’t know how much I love this entry. Not just because it is full of haiku-like, natured-inspired imageries or how lyrical the words are but because the depths of this poem is so incomparable. From your observatory post, you have vision the two different side of life…the beautiful, the touch of nature and the spite of hate, the war. Brava with this Marilyn! You have written another gem here! I am voting for this Marilyn and hope it would soar on the top, for this deserves an applause. I am just saddened for my “voting points” is not that of big help. From the first word “Ribbons”, your use of your adjectives and imageries are rich and paints a colorful picturesque. There are a lot of adjectives, phrases and sentences that are enjoyable! Especially your description of the crane: “In an unparalleled acrobatic feat their bodies become an arrow that spears ocean's cover” --- Wow! Did I say it before? That you are very good in nature-inspired poetry, and then when you associate it to the depths of life, the more it become more meaningful and with full value! “Day At The Beach” is one of the poems that I will never forget! The images and the situation is always sticking in my vision. Just like your leaf story “Never Soar”, I have loved it before until today! Kudos on your another masterful work Marilyn! Yes, poem usually brings its best when written as it should be written (like in a spur of the moment). You did the right decision! For me, yes, this is a winner! As always, Erzahl :)
This Poem was Critiqued By: Sean Donaghy On Date: 2003-12-06 11:17:52
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.86111
Marilyn - Sad that such a lovely day has to be marred by the realities of the world. Your great use of language and powerful imagery give even more impact to the contra of this poem - the ugliness of the evils of the world that go on incessantly as most of us hide behind sand dunes and lemonade. Thanks for the reminder and for the great poetry! Sean
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2003-12-01 16:39:28
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.93750
Marilyn: A month would not be complete if I didn't get to critique one of your poems. This one finally came near the top of my list. You have developed a flair, a distinctive style in your last poems that I think I would recognize it as yours. Your descriptors, the imagery inherent in every piece, get better and better. "Ribbons of exuberant waves splash and spill on sandy soil. Beyond crested caves, atop the glassy ocean, sun's rays sprinkle a path (of) sparkling diamonds." Where do I start? Your metaphor of waves as ribbons is excellent and "exuberant" is a fresh image that delighted me. Your allits: splash/spill/sandy/soil and crested/caves lend a lilting air to the poem so it sounds tuneful, especially aloud. I like "glassy" and the sun sprinkling sparkling diamonds is unique and charming. You have sixteen sibilant words in Stanza 1 which contribute to the sound of the sea, waves splashing, etc. "Terns with webbed feet, knobby knees, and pointed beaks saunter past my beach chair. Some stop to stare with imploring, unblinking eyes, mooching a meal." I did not know that terns have webbed feet but your depiction of the bird "sauntering" past your chair, then pausing to plead for food is simply wonderful. I can see this scene vividly. I also like "knobby knees". "Streamlined cranes soar above the ocean's lid. In an unparalled acrobatic feat, their bodies become (arrows) that spear ocean's cover." The word "streamlined" is magical and the metaphor of the ocean being a container of water which the cranes pierce as they dive paints a grand picture. I find your metaphor unique and I've never encountered before. "As I gaze across this gigantic water expanse, my heart is heavy with tears. Beyond the horiz(o)n (and) around the corners is a war-ripped world with hordes of humanity who cannot see this calm and tranquil day at the beach." I was surprised at the twist of your heart's being filled with tears in face of all the ocean's beauty. When you segue to the explication of your sadness, it impacts with force. That you take this scene of beauty and remember the horror of the rest of the world bespeaks a caring, loving heart and provides a wondrous epiphany at the close of your poem. Setting those lines apart is efficacious, IMO. I don't know what I might add to help your poem as it is lovely as it is. I adore nature poems with new images and you have accomplished same. However, to deliver an epiphany at the poem's end is the magical and symbolic purpose of poetry. I am applauding this poem, giving a standing (wobbled) ovation. Brava, Marilyn! Best always, Mell
This Poem was Critiqued By: Debbie L Fischer On Date: 2003-11-26 21:21:32
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.28571
Marilyn, I was intrigued from the start as I love the ocean and always enjoy a poem that includes the sights and sounds and here you describe them well. I could almost imagine salt covered lips from the ocean spray and see the terns begging for food. It seems so idylic until you put life into perspective and see the suffering going on beyond the waves and calming effect of the ocean. It makes me think too of all we take for granted and the sad state of the world currently. Excellent job portraying these thoughts. I saw only one slight flaw..the spelling of horizon. Excellent work..thank you for sharing. Deb:)
This Poem was Critiqued By: Annette L Cowling On Date: 2003-11-23 13:57:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.66667
Marilyn - I enjoyed your poem, it's very descriptive and moving. I thought of this very subject the other day while viewing a newscast and seeing the palm trees in distant places of turmoil. There are all too many lovely places being spoiled by war. Or the poem brings to mind, the places that have only ever known war and have no idea what a scenic beach is, and how lucky we are to have the lovely oceansides and islands that we have. One other thing I would add is that the word horizon, is spelled horizan in your poem. A small typo, but a beautiful poem. Annette
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2003-11-19 17:44:33
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.58824
My dear friend.......a day at the beach in style.....relaxing as it appears to me with all the beauty of the open stretch of joy before and around your is always good to post something as it is first written.......perhaps that is what was always meant to be......your visuals bring me from Tully to the white sandy beaches located in sunny Florida and I spent just one week there three years ago.....and here I am again, walking the beach before the morning sun rises in the sky, the waves though not grand in size just rolling in softly as they carress my feet and warm my soul. Need to be careful though for there is some kind of poison in the water and the fish are being brought to shore, big ones, little ones, stingrays and even jelly fish.......the birds circle overhead and swoop down to gather their morning feed.....I walked and walked that beach, never taking time to sit and watch others and every morning those black helicopters circled the area as they patrolled our was a few days before the war began, and even seeing and knowing this brought tears to your heart for knowing my son in law was at home preparing to leave for places unknown along with his group of was always the not knowing and the fear it left behind that was hard to understand and take,......your adventure of sitting on the beach, eating your lime pie and sipping your champagne and perhaps sharing a tidbit with your feathered friends has brought all of my wonderful memories of Florida to life again and in doing so refreshed my soul.....Deane went overseas, spent his time underground in intelligence, returned safely home to my daughter, his wife.....I have seen him just once as he still has maneuvers most every other weekend and that is a sign which tells me this is far from over.....the men are always on alert for a return trip and my dear friend God help us all at that point in time......The world should turn their attention of the Lord above and pray for His guidance.......then and only then will the world and its leaders come to peace.....thank you for posting, for sharing this with us......take good care, glad you enjoyed some rest safe in your travels and may the Lord continue to bless you and yours, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2003-11-19 11:11:04
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.36364
Marilyn--Lots of good 'stuff' happening with this one. Hopefully, I won't mess up my explanation. The presence/use of slant/internal rhymes (aslo doubling as descriptors) in the first three stanzas are delightful and entertaining, i.e., splash and spill, sprinkle/sparkling; knobby knees, stop to stare, imploring, unblinking eyes mooching, cranes/ocean's (ocean's lid/ocean's cover). These asssonance producing combinations create a melodious ring--which your sparse punctuation marks have allowed to nicely flow(unchecked for the most part) Then, there's stanza #4! Although you are having this wonderfull lounge at the beach--enjoying the "fruits" of freedom via nature's scenic view, your mind wonders elsewhere--"...across this gigantic water expanse my..." The tone is completely reversed (uneasiness/tension) as depicted through your use of now different descriptors...heart/heavy, beyond/horizon, world/hordes, humanity/cannot-- (experience)--calm/tranquil. Title for your five stanza piece (last line repeat) can also be taken directly as opposition to stanza #4: the "...hordes of humanity who..." are not having a 'Day At The Beach' (great turn/twist for this superb ending). Thanks for sharing your great "story" with us on the link-smile. TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Jennifer j Hill On Date: 2003-11-19 11:03:35
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.36364
Dear Marilyn, The experience you describe here is unsettling, isn't it? It's hard to gaze at the expansiveness of the ocean and sky and not think of the world beyond and all that is happening. To drink in all the beauty and tranquility of creation and then remember, oh yeah, there is war and hunger and greed and..... You captivate us with the picture you paint here. "Day At The Beach" sounds like a way to forget all your troubles and relax. Your description is quite heavenly. You draw this reader in with the title and then grab my attention and don't let go. Your opening phrase "Ribbons of exuberant waves" is a most pleasant and exhilerating image evoking description. Immediately, your use of aliteration starts with splash/spill and sandy/soil bringing the sound of the waves on the beach to me. Sitting at my desk in Missouri, I am about as far from the ocean as a person can get, but I can hear the waves splashing and see them. Then, you add to this wonderful illusion with creasted/caves and sprinkle/sparkling. I especially enjoy the phrase "sun's rays sprinkle a path of sparkling diamonds" because I have seen exactly what you describe and it is a gorgeously apt description for a sight that mesmerizes this beach bum. Your second stanza is light and playful, just like the ocean breeze on warm pleasant day. Again you aim your alliteration and score a bulls eye with knobby/knees, some/stop/stare and mooching/meal. Assonance comes wafting through like the ocean breeze with terns/webbed and feet/knees/beaks/beach/meal. I can see the terns sautering. lol, cracks me up to watch them. Your description makes me long to frolick on the beach one more time. Stanza three evokes the feeling that nature itself is trying to tell us something...something big. First "streamlined cranes soar" draws our attention to the big sky and then "ocean's lid" adds the big sea to the mix and together with the 'arrows' draws our eyes to the horizon. I really love your creative use of lid/cover meaning the top of the ocean. After all, it does seem to contain much from spilling into the sky. The cranes becoming arrows that spear the ocean's cover is quite an image! You words soar here! Then boom...we're hit with the realization that we are like a insignificant speck of dust in the universe. This is powerful writing, Marilyn. I profoundly feel the sadness that burdens your heart. Sometimes it is easy to forget that others suffer while we are enjoying ourselves. The contrast of the beaty and of nature at the beach and the ugliness of the suffering and war is a stirring reminder to all of us. "tranquill day at the beach" and "war ripped world" in the ending strophe are amazing distinctions for this reader. You bring your point home well. I like the way your form changes at the end. It makes for even more of a jolting effect. This is a heartfelt and thought provoking piece. Thanks for writing and sharing this. Blessings, Jennifer
This Poem was Critiqued By: Jordan Brendez Bandojo On Date: 2003-11-18 17:02:05
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.68750
Wow, you surely have the most relaxing moments in that beach, Marilyn! The descriptions you have served us here bring me a special dish to mooch (mooching a meal as you described!) Enjoyed it so much! I can see myself relaxing the same way as you experienced. Is that the Daytona Beach? Heard of that, it is fantastic! The poem is highlighted a lot of ingredients like allits and sibilance that seems to whisper me a breeze. The visuals are very strong the mention of the things you see like the waves, the cranes, all the interesting actions they associate, etc. The form is a good preference. It is good that way because it can denote freedom and of course when you have freedom you can always footloose from those bondage and make a usual relaxation. The only thing here that doesn't seem to be right is the typo "horizan" which is of course "horizon". And also I think "war ripped" can be appropriately written as "war-ripped". I can consider it because it maybe cause by being carefree and too much delight and elation that you did not notice it! Really splendid especially in the start ("Ribbons of exuberant waves splash"...) and it ends with a reflection in the realism of humanity which is a significant to ponder. Thank you so much for the delight you offered us here, just like you served your readers with a plate of delicious meal. Jordan
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