The Wave

Driving east
toward Tybee Beach,
the smell of salt air
takes me back
twenty-five years.

I see in my mind
the shape of
one particular wave,
and the bob of your head
as you drift away.



And now, with the stresses bold:


Driving east
toward Tybee Beach,

the smell of salt air
takes me back
twenty-five years.


I see in my mind
the shape of

one particular wave,
and the bob of your head
as you drift away.

For dVerse. Tonight Gay would like us to reach deep into our natural poetic rhythms. I first posted the poem without noting how I hear the rhythm, to give you, dear reader, the chance to find how you read it on your own. This is an older poem that was written without rhythm necessarily in mind, and I think it is pretty typical of my inner beat. Do you hear it the same way that I do?


27 thoughts on “The Wave

  1. its got a rather wave like rhythm to it…which plays well on the subject matter…the end, watching them bob away is quite sad…was enjoying the drive in the opening stanza…smiles….before the memories crashed in


  2. The sea is so beautiful but scary in this way..reminds me of nah..not a head bobbing away..but a ring that falls off my fingers in the gulf sea of youth…

    just a gum ball one
    but yet..

    yes.. reminds me..then

    how small
    really am…

    and how large the ocean of Uni
    verse is…

    But..i revel in that smallness now..
    i wanna be a part of things..

    but nah..not in charge of anything..

    but me….
    i’ll let the large things BE run..
    by some ONE
    with a much higher
    pay grade than me….

    i’ll just flow
    and let IT ALL GO..

    and let my mission
    free…free..i DO row…..


  3. This has a bit of a tanka..haiku way about it; however it’s written solidly in iambs and anapests. I would have added (a la the dictionary) a few stresses and changed one or two to create this:
    (space) Driv/ ing east/
    toward Ty/bee Beach/,
    the smell/ of salt air/
    (space) takes/ me back/
    twen/ty-five years./

    I see/in my mind/
    the shape/ of
    one/ partic/ular wave,/
    and the bob/ of your head/
    as you drift/ away/

    Very regular…very musical!


  4. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Like a Jewish curse, this starts brightly, & then the emotional barb goes in; & there is a Japanese vibe to it; lots of complexity within bamboo thin parameters; liked it a lot.


  5. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    Great idea to post it first without the mark-up. It transpired that I read it with exactly the rhythm you had in mind. So I thought how clever of you to write it so well that it could not be read any other way — only to discover from comments above that it could! Is that a function of where we live (and got brought up) or some inner affinity? I’m still wondering. Beautiful poem anyhow; I love the restraint, which makes the ending more powerful..


    • Thanks Rosemary, for the comment about this poem’s “restraint.” Many of my favorite poets write with this restraint, and it’s something I admire and work hard to incorporate into my own poetry. It’s not always easy to pull off!


  6. there was definitely some overlap in how I initially read it to the stresses you noted. as to the poem itself, I like the nostalgia of it…easy to get lost in memories (and waves).


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