The Sea

It is high noon;
no shadows
followed me here.

Post-bloom ghosts
haunt the swollen sills
sea forms pass through
on the breeze, splintered
greys squeak chain link songs.

My skin is sticky, salt
sits around my lids. I strain
for flat-grassed plains, cricket’s
sultry strum inland song
louder in this heat.

Open spigots
fill my footprints. Tides toss
and play with heaps of sky.
Serious play:




Can I breathe
any louder?

More than once, I’ve tossed salt
over my shoulder for good luck.

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About janehewey View all posts by janehewey

11 responses to “The Sea

  • ManicDdaily

    Lovely, Jane. Really wonderful. Your images are so palpable, and the descriptions original, evocative and layered. I can feel the spigot sea filling your footprints, and also understand the loudness of inland crickets–the breathing of the sea ==its inhalation and exhalation is rather like a meditation–the meditation of the sea–the meditation of big mind. And of the narrator and reader–the tossing of salt is almost humorous here as one thinks of course of the superstition but also all the tossed waves–it’s really lovely and leaves one with a taste of salt–both the cleansing and exhileration and too a little of the fear that goes with awe. Thanks. k.

  • Anonymous

    I loved that last line! Favorite part. And a bit longer in length, I did note;)

  • Shari

    My new favorite!

  • Mark Kerstetter

    “Tides toss,
    playing with heaps of sky” — that could be about the Florida Gulf coast, where I live. Your first line, together with that serious breathing, reminds me of how many times I’ve walked on the beach not realizing at first how tense my whole body is. Only when you let it all go do you realize it. Crickets song — also one of my favorite things. Lovely language.

  • claudia

    tossing salt over the shoulder for good luck…the inhale/exhale – song of crickets… the play with heaps of sky… all this makes me longing for the sea… a very emotional piece…loved it jane

  • Brendan

    There’s a long flattened swoon to this moment, languid and exquisite. Mark’s right this locale a reminiscent of Florida’s gulf coast, so hot and flat. (You can walk a mile there offshore with water no higher than your chest.) Surrendering to the immensity here would be suffocating were it not for the tiny human observations that bring us back to this side of the shore. But we do need to keep throwing that salt over our shoulder, or be replaced by waves! Really delectable stuff here, Jane. Nap time.

  • Kathryn Dyche Dechairo

    Really enjoyed this piece and had to smile at that last line . . . I’ve done that so many times.

  • hedgewitch

    The sea is an absorbing study and presence in this, as something which ‘travels on the breeze,’ that gives and takes itself, yet remains both on us, in us and apart from us. I love these ideas and thoughts, but beyond that I love the freedom that the beauty of you language brings, jane, the sense that here miles inland in a drought, the sea can still find me through your poem-map.

  • Laurie Kolp

    This is so beautiful, Jane. I love your ending image of throwing salt over your shoulder.

  • brian miller

    i like the inhale/exhale…that is what the ocean is to me…a re-finding of rhythm…a breathing deep natures song…
    when i go, i usually take a bit of its salt in my mouth for luck….smiles.

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