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through your eyes: a seagull murmurs

calm today on a salt beach,
your face beams in the breakwater
I'm too far from home to celebrate you,
my thoughts mewl like a gull
trapped in my chest.
I make my own footprints
in your photographs,
I can walk this island now,
can almost touch.
my skin has forgotten the sea
as I have forgotten its purpose;
I lean to the water's edge,
whistle till my lips are raw.
send the ache in the weather,
send the cemetery.
I want to walk on the dead
looking down urns
for nettle, bone,
a throat
slit by its own sword.
my hands have been still so long
I can't tell what they hold;
kelp cocoons me,
a whale laps me into the sea
I'm strapped to him like Ahab;
I am those numb limbs,
that girl abandoned on the beach–
I feel the traffic of blood surge,
part of me living again,
the dull clink in my ribs,
that little heart, not quite fifteen
and you calling back to me.

20 May 11

Rated 10 (7.5) by 3 users.
Active (3): 10, 10, 10
Inactive (23): 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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(7 users consider this poem a favorite)

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The correct word for the title is "murmurs".
 — Inuki

kick-ass poem.  especially like lines 18-24.  yes.
 — JKWeb

haha, thanks for catching that inuki, i thought it looked odd.

thanks JW, I'm glad you liked it

Unk, I enjoyed reading your comment, very interesting, a poem of its own.
 — unknown

james, taa, thanks for faving =-)
 — jenakajoffer

Gorgeous--will be back to read and comment properly later when I'm not getting ready for work!
 — sybarite

yep, it is jj, thought so----> i would have written this if i were you. :) dare i say you are my favorite female pc poet?   (in the accumlative sense of course).
 — ghost

thanks sybarite,

dear ghost, wow *blushing*
accumulative, that is wonderful, thank you
 — jenakajoffer

beautiful jen
 — unknown

upon reading a 2nd time, I was wondering about 8-9 with 'lips' in consecutive lines.  any chance of modifying?  still great anyhow.
 — JKWeb

oh nice catch james, i originally had mouth to the water's edge, don't know why i did that, anyway, mouth and lips seems redundant, so how about this?
 — unknown

 — JKWeb

14-17 are my favorite with 18-21 a close second.  Always like a sigh, your writing.  No nits, I am under-qualified to do so.  'That little heart, not quite fifteen'--well that just about made me cry.  Stop it.  ;)
 — sybarite

Sybarite that is about the loveliest commet I have ever read.  thank you, you almost made ME cry.  :)
 — jenakajoffer

L9-hot damn...that's spicy...
OMG what an ending! It brought me home like a stretch limousine made of love.
In style and comfort but carefully...Thank you! I love beach poems too so this is a double thumbs up and some hangten toes from me! Mwah!
 — Known

thanks Gomie! you're comments are like sangria,,,,,,
so colourful =-)
 — jenakajoffer

This is both haunting and beautiful. The imagery is stark and compelling. My favorite stanza is 4. I especially like the way the sea and you seem to become one for a while.
The only thing I found difficult was the enjambment from L17 to L18.  
 — Io

you are good Io, I have had the same thoughts since I wrote this, about 17-18.  feels a bit misplaced, yes.  i will have a look.  thank you so much for the nice words :)
 — jenakajoffer

lack of vision in regards to the possibilities poetry possesses
 — unknown

lack of vision?  i don't agree with that.  i'm open, crit me for something else.
 — jenakajoffer

dear Io, i switched the stanzas around, hopefully they jamb smoother being at 13/14.
thanks again.
 — jenakajoffer

It works perfectly!
 — Io

Beautiful, beautiful, beaUTIFUL!  You son of a...BEACH!  
 — starr

And my favorite SHEpoet is...LOL!  How 'bout "toward" instead of "to" in L8?  And in L33, "clinking."  Just some food 4 thought.  I've never heard of a "clink" except for Colonol Klink on Hogan's Heroes.  I HAVE HEARD of a CLUNK tho.  Just not a clink.  As a gerund, it seems to feel/read better.  xo
 — starr

Also, Jen...do seagulls really "murmur?"  Think about that.  I feed 'em every day b4 work and I tend to think that they "bark" and/or "hiccup," sometimes even "moan," but I wouldn't say that a gull would "murmur."  Okay...I'm done now.  :-)  xo
 — starr

trying too hard
 — unknown

thanks for the great comments Starr :)
i think i am the seagull?  clink?  come on!  clink clank...
well i am happy you enjoyed it, i laid on the sand beach today underneath some mewling gulls today, worried one might shit on me.
 — jenakajoffer

wait a cotton pickin' minute, you feed seagulls Star???  noooo!  i loathe seagull feeders when i'm at the beach :(  

for unk, trying too hard is not the right crit for this poem.  i can fully admit to poems that try too hard, but this ain't one of them.  try again.
 — jenakajoffer

Hey, Jen!  Either way, it's a beautiful poem and it's got that very "beachy" vibe.  :-)
I don't feed the gulls at the beach.  I feed 'em Downtown.  They hang around with the pigeons and they actually at out of my hands.  There's a beautiful "she"-gull down there that I named "Rozzie."  She comes right up, sits next to me and eats gently.  She's really sweet and pretty.  She actually jumped up on my shoulder once and stood there for a brief 5 seconds then flew off.  She feels connected to me, as I am to HER.  She's my little sweetie-pie!  Is it warm up there?  It's nice here today.  About 80.  Finally!  xo
 — starr

you are on fire

breakwater is to long, Use draft

nice poem
 — sir_I_clan

the spam people seem to really like my poems.
 — jenakajoffer

Yes this one is really wonderful. Totally engaging. Great metaphor//imagery//soul.

thank you for this reading

 — unknown

thanks CC,

fuck off spammer idiot
 — jenakajoffer


 — sir_I_clan

get your drunk ass off my poem
 — jenakajoffer

lol ^
 — jenakajoffer

 — sir_I_clan

 — mandolyn

Best I've read here for a while.
Below are some tiny tweaks you might consider.

calm today on a salt beach,
your face beams in the breakwater

too far from home to celebrate you,
thoughts mourning
the gull trapped in my chest.

my skin forgets the sea
as i have forgotten its purpose;

i lean to the water's edge,
whistle till my lips are raw
i make my own footprints
in your photos

i can walk around this island now,
and almost touch–

bring the ache in the weather,
send the cemetery.
i like to run in the rain,

to walk on dead people
peering into urns
for nettle, bone,
or a throat
slit by it's own sword.

my hands have been still so long
i can't tell what they hold,
perhaps a lithe root of flame,
or water welling over fern

kelp cocoons me,
a whale laps me into the sea
i'm strapped to him like Ahab;

i am those numb limbs,
that girl abandoned on the beach–
i feel the thrill of blood surge

part of me living again

the dull clink in my ribs,
that little heart, not quite fifteen
and you calling back
 — unknown

this is a beautiful poem.

a few comments. things that stuck out to me and made me pause in my reading flow.

line 8: maybe "toward" instead of "to" though "to" is more succinct and maybe sounds better, it made me think of actually putting one's face up to the water. like, all the way to it.

lines 10-11: this is okay but it made me think of the cliche religious footprints poem that is always accompanied by a photo of "one set of footprints" gag

12-13: I like this though it makes little sense to me. : ) I think it works. the feeling is there.

16-17: these are okay. running in the rain came off as a bit cliche or not quite true. why running ? and "i like to walk on dead people" just wasn't that poetic of a way to say it. seemed immature with the rest of the poem... but actually now that i think about it, the narrator is being transported back to their 15 year old self.. so these lines kind of work perfectly. just really does seem like a 15 year old wrote them... still not sold. maybe even cut.

18-21: so good.

25: a whale "laps" you. good word but really what does it say? like licking? I can see how a wave could lap you but maybe not a whale. I don't know, i still like it, though it doesn't make sense really.

26: do you need the literary reference? this doesn't make sense with the rest of the poem. or has your fifteen year old self been chasing some "white whale" of innocence or some lost love... I don't know, maybe expand on this theme or lose the Ahab.

the overall theme is a bit confusing. some mixed images that don't go with one another, the sea, cemeteries, moby dick, swords?

this poem is so good.  it definitely makes me feel the sort of melancholy that I love to feel when reading poetry, accomplishes actually the thing that is maybe the only thing that I personally find important in a poem.
 — heidikmck

I've only ever seen seagulls peck at eyes.
 — percocet

"A patient etherized upon a table," is a specific picture that represents the sunrise of mankind, and ," Calm today on a salt beach," completely represents the passivity of the modern generation.  Please never use the word , "Mewl" again.  
 — percocet

Beautifully writen!  What more is there to say!
 — PaulS

well thanks for reading heidi, you have quite the detailed critique here, which is nice!  I'm sorry I cannot make any edits to this poem, a couple years ago i used another name so i had more privacy, but now i cannot remember what it was, or what the password was, lol.  there are many things i'd like to smooth out here, but oh well.  i appreciate your thoughts, :)
 — jenakajoffer

i don't know how this ended up in the top but it's cool that it's getting some reads.  

so thanks perc, you mewling quim,

and thanks to you too, Paul! it's been a long time!
 — jenakajoffer

This is a beautiful poem.  In line 21, the word "its" should not have an apostrophe in it; otherwise, this is flawless.  Beautiful.
 — elodious

Send ache in the weather,
Send the cemetery.

I know this one. Thank you.
I want to leave it all to the shore.
 — turboswami

a sweetly-dark sea tale ... I remember holding my kayak still in a tangled bull-kelp bed while the sea undulated and we we're watching gray whales graze on the shore while the paeter-familus circled 'round shimmering an intelligent glance our way ... fav'd
 — AlchemiA

"a gull trapped in my chest". is that meant to be a metaphor?
It is pretenious.
I feel this poem is over worked.
Can a poem try to hard ?
 — useine

I see I come to this way after it was posted here. But I have to comment as it really stirred me soul - I love the sound of the seagulls, their mewl is harbored deep within me - This poem makes me miss my dad who has passed. He lived in florida and when I visited we would go to the beach - those seagulls were everywhere. A lovey read - OH, I wanted to say also that I am glad you kept 'clink' because it works well in this poem. Kelyi
 — Kelyi

thanks for the nice comments alch :)

thanks also useine, i liked reading your comment.  i am not exactly sure how i feel about this poem.  pretentious, probably not, but perhaps too fragmented for my taste.

Kelyi, thanks for reading, i'm glad this related to you in some way.  
 — jenakajoffer

Fantastic read
 — gallard

thanks gallard, i had a quick peek to see who you were and i was surprised to see your list of poems; i dont' recognize you!  anyway, i quickly read a bit of your stuff and it is very intriguing.  i plan on doing more reading so watch for my comments in the near future! :)
 — jenakajoffer