Poetry Friday: Tide Rhythms

My eldest son is flying home from Italy today. He’s had a great trip visiting Florence, Cinque Terre, Rome, and Scilla, the town in the Calabria region where his paternal great grandparents are from. He’s kept us up to date with daily photo entries on a shared google photo album. The trip was finally consummated after being postponed from the summer of 2020. At 18 days, this trip was much shorter than the original six-week trip, during which we would have gone to stay with him for visit to the country of my husband’s heritage. But, life goes on and he is a doctoral student who must return to finish his studies this semester at a large mid-western university.

Pixabay photo by felix_w. Free for use license.

As I looked at his photos of the ocean off the shores of Italy, I thought about tides. I have similar photos from a variety of places in the world – where the ocean or sea meets the land. These places include Japan, Florida, Mexico, South Carolina, Delaware, San Diego, Bermuda, The Netherlands, Maui, and Kauai. When standing on the shore, looking out, it can be hard to tell where in the world you are. I remember thinking that as I stood on the shore of the North Sea on Scheveningen Beach. And, again on Maui. And, again at Playa del Carmen. And, again on Coronado Beach or La Jolla.

Coronado Beach, California. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2012

What do all these places have in common? The rhythms of the ocean tides. The sound of the waves crashing onto the beach can be both calming and frightening depending on the degree of calmness in the water.

Thus, I started a poem on the tides, inspired by the places I’ve been, and the places to where I will soon go. The next time, I’m standing on the edge of the land where the ocean meets the sand, I’ll listen more carefully to the rhythmic sound of the waves. After that, I’ll add to my poem.

Tide Rhythms

The rhythm of the tide is the same

No matter upon which shore you stand.

Florida or Japan

California or The Netherlands.

In and out,

Waves push and pull.

Challenging us to stay in place,

Still.

For we can do what oceans cannot,

Remain rooted to a spot.

© Draft, Carol Labuzzetta, 2022

Today is Poetry Friday. Our host for this week is Mary Lee at ayearofreading.org. Thanks for hosting Mary Lee! Please visit her page for some inspiring poetry and links to other authors.

13 thoughts

  1. Wow! You’ve collected an impressive number of beaches in your lifetime! I love the way your poem contrasts movement and rootedness.

    I’ve never been an ocean person, but my favorite landscape (the wide flat prairies of eastern Colorado) shares some similarities. There’s no rhythm of tide, but the sound of the wind might be like the sound of waves, and the horizon inspires big thinking.

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    1. Mary Lee, Thanks again for hosting! I love all kinds of landscapes and those are my favorite focus of my photography. The west (CO, AZ, UT) is beautiful as well with its wide open spaces. I like the similarities you drew between the ocean and open land.

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  2. Lovely. We were planning to go to Italy this summer but worried about travel restrictions due to covid. What did he find? I’m still willing to go make SURE that the ocean tides are the same 🙂

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    1. Hi, Linda. They found that they needed to wear their masks, KN95 (as requested by travel authorities) all the time when in public. Their COVID vacc cards were checked occasionally. They had to test prior to departure from the US and prior to returning to the US within certain timeframes. It all worked without too much of an inconvenience. They did not feel unsafe due to the pandemic precautions. Some businesses were closed. I think you should go and check those tides for me! lol.

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  3. Carol, what fun. I love the idea that people can stand still, and the big powerful ocean cannot. It makes me feel stronger. Your photos of oceans are gorgeous. You have seen some beautiful sites.

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  4. I was thinking about waves this weekend too, with the tsunami warnings for the west coast of the US! Those are some powerful forces. Thanks for your poem! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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  5. Wow–those last three lines. Beautiful! I love shores and tides–the ocean is about the only thing besides family that I miss from growing up in Florida. AND, my husband and I are in the middle of a beautiful jigsaw puzzle of Cinque Terre, which I’d never heard of and which now keeps coming up. So strange, the way coincidences work…

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    1. Thanks, Laura! Your words of kindness do a lot to encourage me! And, now for another coincidence! My sister in law also has a Cinque Terre puzzle (1000 pieces made by Buffalo Art) to do! We gifted it to her at Christmas in memory of this recent trip she had with our son – her nephew! LOL. Stay warm and work on that puzzle and KEEP dreaming!

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