Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Jersey Shore

Has the ocean changed or have I?
As a girl riding alone
Excited in the back seat
Of my father’s white Cutlass sedan–
The confused shuffling of
Voices on the radio,
Each on different stations,
Mixed in with staticy music
As we traveled down shore
Between frequencies–
I never had to ask
Are we almost near the beach yet.
Before I could see the Atlantic
I could always smell
The salty green dampness in the air
Full of adventure, chlorophyll, and starfish.
Though we were still a few miles away,
I already was imaging taking off my sandals
To trek through the unstable sand
Sinking with each step,
The grit biting the soles of my feet
Just below the threshold of pain.
I was already looking past the throng of
People, chairs, blankets, and umbrellas
To the expanse of water,
Gauging the rise and fall of waves,
Anticipating the briny liquid
Catching my open mouth by surprise.
Nowadays, I’ve noticed that the smell of beach
Is not as strong as it used to be;
It’s denatured, sanitized, and bland.
There are fewer pretty rocks and shells
To cram into my beach bag.
Only the sound of the surge
Is larger and more insistent than ever,
Or is it just me?


NaPoWriMo Day 12. The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem that incorporates all five senses.

Please visit this list of my poet friends who are also doing the poem-a-day challenge. They are worth the look. I’m inspired by them daily Contact me if you want to be added to the list.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2012.


Comments on: "Jersey Shore" (24)

  1. I think it’s just you. When we’re little our senses haven’t been dulled by all the exterior “noises” yet and everything seems bigger and better. This makes me miss the beach.

  2. I felt the entire journey and I am glad that the question at the end is unaswerable. Yes, it’s a bit of both, but it is more important to keep asking the question than to answer it. It was NaPoWrMo that led me here via “beeswing” poetry–its link of today ( http://www.napowrimo.net/ ).
    I am also spilling “my gut to strangers,” I think. Now I am delighting in visiting poets to make the proverbial stranger less of a mystery.

    • Hi, Susan! I’m so glad you stopped by! When I started this blog a couple of years ago, it was a little scary, but as you said, making connections with fellow poets makes it less so. 🙂 Let’s keep in touch!

  3. A brilliant blend of all five senses in a wonderful poem. Love the flow and the emotions it invokes.

  4. What we remember from childhood is often much more vibrant and overwhelming than what we see as adults. It’s not just you, it’s all of us! 🙂 Beautifully done!

  5. I experienced a wealth of emotions as I read this. Fabulous job Sweepy.

  6. Lovely flow, just like the ocean tides. I wonder if the scent of the ocean just doesn’t seem as big anymore in the same way that everything seems to shrink as we get older.

  7. Hello Sweepy.
    Very visual poem. Reminds me of our trips to the beach growing up in Trinidad. Nowadays, I don’t get to go very often. The question you ask is quite a valid one…to which there really is no right or wrong answer, but I do believe the waters of the sea are more violent than before…makes me wonder what’s going on underneath. Nice entry. Thanks for sharing.

    Day 11/12: Kiss Of Faithfulness

    • Ah, must have been a nice place to live. I have to agree with you, Andy, and I wonder whether man’s disregard for the environment is destroying our shores. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Visiting the ocean never gets old…I always get excited too! There’s something infinite and yet anchoring about standing before water so massive and powerful…the smell, the crash of the waves, the sand that gets everywhere…There are few other places that spark so much awe and wonder in the human consciousness.

  9. Don’t nowadays and yesteryears always give reasons for pause. Liked this ride to the riptide…no coast lines here.


  10. I have only been to the ocean a few times in my lifetime, but I don’t miss it a bit. I am not a ‘beach bunny’ so the smells, sights, and sounds are not necessarily missed, nor do I realize any change in them from one visit to another. Now, ask me about a snow covered mountain…and I’m there!!

  11. Wow you certainly evoked all of my five senses mate! I live by the beach and hate it! But still you made me smile.

  12. […] not long ago got back from a few days “down the shore,” as we say in New Jersey, that is, from one of the many beach towns that hug the coast of the […]

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