Postcard from the coast

(these notes were found on a collection of ancient postcards, the author is unknown but there are those who have seen a bent man walking into the waves without a body being found or anybody reported missing)

Dear,
can you hear the surge of surfs —
breaking froth on polished rocks?
Have you ever gone to sleep
with skin a crust of salt?

Dear,
I miss your voice,
every morning here —
awaked by the seagulls calling
I hear the echo
of an ancient man sitting by the docks
“they are souls of those the water took”

Dear,
I dreamt you came to me tonight,
seaweed in your hair,
pale and cold, carried on a scent of brine,
your seaglass eyes were old.

Dear,
you never called before you went,
my horizon’s hazed in doubt
I cannot comprehend the waves,
and the seagulls cannot tell.

Kim asks us to write poetry from the seaside at toads. For me the seaside is stark and beautiful. The sea gives and takes, and in the old fishing village where we used to spend our summers there were still old fishermen brimming with stories.

I also intend to link up to poetry pantry tomorrow morning.

July 28, 2019

31 responses to “Postcard from the coast

  1. “Have you ever gone to sleep/with skin a crust of salt?”
    Oh, I just love this bit.
    The snippets turn into a melancholic song, of longing and lovelorn memories. That prelude adds an extra tinge of sorrow to it.
    -HA

  2. My goodness this is good! 💕 I love the mood in this poem and underlying dread and darkness that accompanies ” dreamt you came to me tonight, seaweed in your hair, pale and cold, carried on a scent of brine…” There are so many unanswered questions revolving around people lost at sea. 🌊

  3. Wonderful words of longing and loss Björn, and doubt…the emptiness of the unknown.
    Oh that the bent man could let her know…
    Anna :o]

  4. A missing person and the aching void left behind in loved ones’ hearts…I really like “your sea glass eyes were old”.

  5. kaykuala

    A very thoughtful take Bjorn! Love the way you relate ‘a missing person’ event to one being missed!

    Hank

  6. “and the seagulls cannot tell”… for all their squawking! Powerfully evocative.

  7. This wonderful piece can be read in different ways: as a series of postcard messages/poems, individually, and as a whole story I came back to it a number of times to explore the possibilities and enjoyed them all, Bjorn. I love the mystery of the bent old man walking into the sea – could it be the ancient librarian – you don’t say where they were found, but could they have been in a book or tucked behind books on a library shelf? 🙂
    I also love the sounds you evoke in ‘the surge of surfs’ and the seagulls calling, and the salty dog imagery in the lines:
    ‘Have you ever gone to sleep
    with skin a crust of salt?’
    The most poignant and quite chilling image, which reminded me of the old sea captain in Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, is:
    ‘I dreamt you came to me tonight,
    seaweed in your hair,
    pale and cold, carried on a scent of brine,
    your seaglass eyes were old’.

  8. I love the direction your imagination took you in this series of cards.. especially love:
    I cannot comprehend the waves,
    and the seagulls cannot tell.

  9. Very eerie, but thought-provoking. You really could do a poem series on this theme. Work with the character & pen different facets of his mystical life.

  10. Bjorn, your second poem has the feeling of a dark faerie tale explaining seagulls to the world.

  11. I absolutely love the image of “seaglass eyes”! This whole poem washes over me with waves of sadness and regret and longing…

  12. All right, now I want the movie. I would be content (for a while) with an illustrated edition or a color-and-texture-rich graphic novel (if scents can be added, that would be perfection).

    I love this piece, Bjorn… the beauty and darkness of it–the love lost and kept in ink. I see those seaglass eyes, so old, so new, so knowing…

  13. ‘Have you ever gone to sleep with skin a crust of salt?’ Huge satisfied sigh from me. (answer is yes) Beautiful Bjorn.

  14. What a glorious poem of love and loss this is Bjorn. It is so crafted that each line illustrates the scene so vividly. It is really wonderful.

  15. I love the direction that you took this piece in Bjorn. It is very creative and, as such, transports your reader into a myriad of intriguing scenarios and speculations. I love it when writing does that! Some brilliant word-weaving in this, to boot!

  16. mystery, loss, longing. i wonder how long he has pined for his love, until one day he decided it was time to meet her again…

  17. I like your different take with the post card theme, for me, you work gave me the feeling of longing for a loved one. Most enjoyable.

  18. Loved reading your cards. Some brought memories, especially the need to wash off the salt. Now my washing would be for getting the dried chlorine off, or the sunscreen if I didn’t go in. At first I thought these could have been from the ancient librarian. .I’ve missed reading of him now for some time. I hope I.didn’t miss his death.
    ..

  19. OOOOO …seaglass eyes, salt crusted skin–a tale of ghosts, so very probable! Love it.

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