The Sea: A Poem

Sunrise over the Atlantic. Photo by Holle Abee.
Sunrise over the Atlantic. Photo by Holle Abee.

The Sea

As I float in oblivion,

The water holds me in its salty embrace.

The fragrant breeze cools my skin

And caresses my face.


The gentle rocking is comforting,

With its constant motion.

The air heavy with the coconut oil

In my suntan lotion.


I can taste salt on my tongue,

Hear gulls scream as they soar,

And I listen to the endless crashing

Of waves on the shore.


I feel the rays of the sun on my face,

And should I open my eyes,

I’d see white cotton clouds

And cerulean blue skies.


Warm and inviting,

She compels me to stay.

A hypnotic hostess,

She has her way.


All my senses are filled up

By the boundless sea,

Sight, sound, touch, hearing, and taste

Are fed by its immensity.


The ocean pulls us to her

From the safety of the shore -

A siren’s song of old,

Impossible to ignore.


We use her as a playground

For our watery pleasures;

We fish in her belly

And steal her rich treasures.


We sail on her surface,

And we plunder the deep,

But her shimmering turquoise

Has secrets to keep.


Her spirit can be benevolent

And forgiving of our sins.

In an instant, she can be angry,

With punishing swells and winds.


She can make dreams come true

Or feed you to the fishes,

Push you to her depths

Or grant all your wishes.


I’ve often wondered:

Why are we so drawn to the sea?

Is it reminiscent of the womb,

Or the birthplace of humanity?


Did our ancestors crawl

From the ubiquitous slime

Fixing our path to the future

And altering time?


Or is it some shared memory

Of a cognizant plan,

When the sea meant food

And survival for man?

My grandsons playing in the Atlantic. Photo by Holle Abee.
My grandsons playing in the Atlantic. Photo by Holle Abee.
Sunset at the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by Holle Abee.
Sunset at the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by Holle Abee.
My grandaughter at an Atlantic beach. Photo by Holle Abee.
My grandaughter at an Atlantic beach. Photo by Holle Abee.
My middle daughter and her kids at the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by Holle Abee.
My middle daughter and her kids at the Gulf of Mexico. Photo by Holle Abee.
My granddaughter at a Gulf beach. Photo by Holle Abee.
My granddaughter at a Gulf beach. Photo by Holle Abee.
My grandson and niece, crabbing at the Gulf. Photo by Holle Abee.
My grandson and niece, crabbing at the Gulf. Photo by Holle Abee.
Gulf of Mexico at Anna Maria Island. Photo by Holle Abee.
Gulf of Mexico at Anna Maria Island. Photo by Holle Abee.
My grandson, a huge fan of saltwater fishing! Photo by Holle Abee.
My grandson, a huge fan of saltwater fishing! Photo by Holle Abee.

You’ve probably discovered that I absolutely love water – especially the ocean. I’ve never understood my fascination, as neither of my parents loved the sea. I, on the other hand, can’t seem to get enough of it. I go the shore whenever I get the chance, which isn’t nearly often enough. Luckily, I can be at the shore in two hours, and I have a choice between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

I could never live too far from the ocean, and I’ve always felt sorry for people living in the Midwest or in other locales where the sea is but a distant longing. Of course, not everyone loves the ocean as I do, so I suppose it doesn’t bother everyone who lives a long way from sea and shore.

Just about every American lives near some sort of water, however. The U.S. is riddled with rivers, lakes, reservoirs, streams, and ponds. And most of us enjoy taking advantage of water. We might use it for swimming, fishing, boating, water skiing, or parasailing. We might just enjoy being near a body of water and appreciating the view. For some reason, most humans are inherently drawn to water. Why? Is it some “inherited memory,” some survival mechanism? Perhaps I’m over-thinking the whole thing, as I’m sometimes wont to do.

Take the poll!

How do you feel about the ocean?

  • I LOVE the ocean!
  • I like the ocean okay.
  • I don't care much for the ocean.
  • I HATE the ocean!
See results without voting

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Comments 24 comments

jfay2011 profile image

jfay2011 4 years ago

Lovely poem about the ocean. I miss it. Vermont is a few states away, but when I lived in Maine, we went to the beach all the time. Scarborough beach is awesome.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I love the oceans, lakes, and rivers. Beautiful poem and your grandchildren are adorable!


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 4 years ago from Tampa Bay

I love the poem and wonder the same as you. I live quite close to the gulf, about a 20 minute drive. As soon as I see it, I feel lighter and brighter, calm, serene. The way the light plays on the water.. this makes me want to hop in the car and take a walk along the shore. :)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

Loved your poem about the joy the ocean offers. I love to be in the ocean and can't think of a better day than a day at the beach. Many days. Your pictures are beautiful, but the one of your niece, grandson, and crab is particularly fantastic, way much more than just a pretty picture - the color and depth are awesome.


TKs view profile image

TKs view 4 years ago from The Middle Path

Hi habee,

I'm more of a river or stream kind of guy, but I must admit, one of the most awesome meditations I ever had was while sitting on a rock surrounded by the ocean near Seattle. Tide was coming in, but just small swells not waves. The water would climb up the rock's rough surface and then ebb back down, leaving a thousand little waterfalls singing their song.

The sun, the sky, the sea. it was one of those perfect moments I'll remember always.


Hillbilly Zen profile image

Hillbilly Zen 4 years ago from Kentucky

Really evocative poem, Ms. Holle, and much appreciated by a fellow "waterbaby". Fabulous pictures!


Ercolano profile image

Ercolano 4 years ago from Vancouver, BC

You encapsulated the sea and its many guises very well, and wonderfully accompanied by your family photos as well as posing the question what is it about it? The sound of the roar of the sea at night is pretty much the only sound I can contend with to fall asleep anything else like a knitting needle in my ears. I can't believe though that some people I have met in the writing world, in particular from Kentucky, have never seen the ocean, that blows my mind. The sea for me, since I no longer go for midnight swims on holiday, which I used to love to do, is a place to contemplate the universe; completely relaxing. Very nicely done.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

jfay, being a southern gal, I'm partial to the white sands and clear water of the Gulf! lol


zzron profile image

zzron 4 years ago from Houston, TX.

Awesome, and great pictures. Reminds me of Galveston close to where I live. Makes me want to go to the beach right now!


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Susan. 6 of the 8 love, love, love the ocean!!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada

I miss the ocean. I was transplanted to the prairies many years ago, but poems like your remind me how very much I miss the sea. Great photos, too.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Rebekah - 20 minutes?? Lucky you! Can I move in? I'll do all the cooking! lol


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Dolores! I'm really not much of a shutterbug. lol


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

TKS, I've had wonderful moments like that at the shore, too. I love all kinds of water, but the ocean has a special appeal to me. Thanks for reading!


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Zen, I kinda figured you as a water baby! lol


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Ercolano, I'm glad you "get it." When I'm on the end of a pier at night, and I consider the millions of stars, I feel very tiny. Strangely, however, I also feel a part of something wonderful and immense! Thanks for reading.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

zzron, it had the same effect on me. I'm ready to pack my bags right now! lol


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

RedElf, I know the prairies have their own inherent beauty, but I don't think I'd survive that far from the sea.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Beautiful poem and pictures!


d.william profile image

d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Excellent poem and such beautiful pictures. I have always been extremely terrified of the ocean, or any body of water that was too deep to stand up in. Ever since i was a young child i had nightmares about drowning. I suspect that in one of my past lives that was how i met my demise. Even the smell of the ocean is nauseating to me. But none the less, your depiction is quite beautiful.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

I wish I was a fish, that's how much I love water! LOL

I can never get enough of the sea and river.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Hi habee,

This is such a beautiful hub;a great poem and those beautiful photos of your family; you must be so proud.

I have to vote this one up up and away.

Take care and I wish you a wonderful day.

Eddie.


jenubouka 4 years ago

Your poem is epic with emotion for all those who bond with the water and mysteries of the ocean like myself. Awesome as usual.


DAWNEMARS profile image

DAWNEMARS 4 years ago from The Edge of a Forest in Europe

Beautiful poem which I enjoyed reading very much. Thanks so much for sharing. Voted beautiful and awesome and up!

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