On the Sand Once

A scalloped edge

dull-thudding, blunt trauma

an ovarian glare of phosphorescence stirs me,

something stirs me so

the sandy vortex

churns out half-whispered memories


by gurgling bones

Pele’s hill is crushed by Hina’s skull-white glow

Along the ridges, notches of time

indicate angularity

irrelevant elements

smooth and confuse

the nascent dreamers


And what is this,

coalescing and rising from

the navel of the world,

coiling flood of DNA and splinters of selfhood

I fell a long way

tumbled here

broken by breakers that tossed me,

indifferently, into the wasted space

between his eyes

a blue that mirrored the ocean waves,

yet with a greater hint of cruelty


Desire, he whispered, with hot words

the winds erupted from his ribcage


Taste, he said, as he clamped onto me

Sandpaper hands sought to

break apart my lichens,

chafe against my cleft


Too soon, the drowning, came my reply

Hot words of calamity

spoken so seductively


Caress, he said, as

sandstone slurped up water

stubble gleaming pale yellow

shaken by unease


Oh, the nakedness of a spirit held up against my bone-white walls



I laugh to see him throw such futile spears


Prints in the sand betoken no wisdom

A revelation of initiation into voicelessness

Arid sounds arise and dissipate while my scalloped edge



in solitude the damning voices

deafen with a silence

more profound than desire

lost footing, lust fooling

the withered remains


the human defames



I sink back and receive

clench tightly

bite rightly

The straw man snaps as each smack of my hand

delivers the solution

Dive and surface

Dive deep

But are you ready to die when the pearl is claimed?

4 thoughts on “On the Sand Once

    • This is a poem, not a recounting of something from my personal history. But I appreciate that you felt it to be emotionally impactful; that’s the best compliment a poem can receive. The ocean triggers a lot of fruitful poetic musing for me, especially having lived intimately with its rhythms for four years during my self-imposed exile in Hawaii. Hey, who knows: perhaps Yemaya or Olokun is my OTHER Orisha parent. 😉


      • I’ve not had the experience your poem reflects either but I am sure countless others certainly have. That’s what I love about the collective unconscious. Your poem could easily be someone else’s memory. What a potent and insightful piece!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You’ve raised an excellent point there, Tamilia–who KNOWS where it comes from. Socrates supposedly never took credit for his ideas, saying that his indwelling daimon told him things. Oftentimes when I write, it feels like automatic writing. When I do have an issue/experience/emotional state I’m trying to work out, I sit there and let my fingers fly across the page (I have to write with a pen on a legal pad of paper), trusting that the right vehicle for expression will work its Wyrd through me. But when I don’t have an “agenda” other than wordplay (the above poem came to me as a free writing exercise; I set my kitchen timer for 10 minutes), it does sometimes feel like something external to me is guiding my hand/thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

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