Grasping the Earth

The night drops its moonbeams on the water

ghostly white caps dance above the reef

curling over in the moonlight

“Come to me,” they call and I will – when dawn breaks


I’m there

with the first call of morning

standing alone on the deserted beach

just me and my board

watching the sea throw itself upon the earth

daring me not to break my promise


I threw myself into the water

attacking each rise and fall

until I made it to the point of no return

and sat

bobbing like a cork

waiting for that one wave


the immense silence swallowed me

the delicate tinkles calik, calik, calik at my board

my thumping heart filled my ears

a strange tightness ached in my chest

as each wave came and went

slithering up, dropping down


it was waiting for me

to take it on

it piaffed beneath me

heaving in and out



Just breathe


with a gasp I paddle into fear

feeling it scream beneath me

as I jump to my feet

and look over the world

water surging, roaring in my ears

the shore

powering toward me

screaming and laughing

I fly on invisible wings




I fall into its lull

flop on the shore – alive

heart still thumping




the earth and I

just shook hands



For Dverse Poets Meeting the Bar  Literary Allusion   Recently I just finished Tim Winton’s novel Breath. I thoroughly enjoyed it and in this book Winton  allowed me to go surfing for the first time in my life. He made me feel I was there, riding those incredible waves. This is how it felt.


14 thoughts on “Grasping the Earth

  1. I’m a swimmer but as a teen was sucked out a little too far from shore and felt as if I had such a struggle to get back to safety, it scared me. I’ve always wondered about the nerve it takes to surfboard. You also took me on your flight. 🙂
    Fabulous imagery.

    • I too would love to try it for real…not sure at this time in my life I ever will but gosh Tim Winton’s words made me feel I was right there, it was like I wasn’t reading it I was living it. He’s just the most amazing author.

  2. dang…wow…what an adrenaline rush….from the hush of beingout there….to screaming down the wave…i would love to surf…never done it and its on the list….its got to get the blood pumping…your verse did me…smiles.

  3. I love “The earth and I just shook hands.” — What a beautiful expression. Even if you have never tried surfing for real, your poem created the experience amazingly well. Shows what reading literature can inspire!

  4. Great writing! The anticipation in the first few stanzas is well done, and the description throughout is perfectly rendered. One would never guess you’ve never been surfing!

  5. Dianne, it’s been a lifetime since I surfed, but you’ve truly captured the experience in all its sensory “mysticism.” I really like how you started the poem during the night before the dawn surfing expedition. Set the scene so well.

    • Thank you Victoria, I was hoping I had captured the experience, I don’t think I really understood that connection surfers have to the ocean until I read the book. I could only write how I felt as I waited on the waves with the characters in the novel. I am very happy to hear from a real surfer. 🙂

  6. Wow, he really did allow you to surf. I actually had took a double take look at the blog — I thought I was reading some young guy’s blog. I wondered how you got it so right (having surfed and many things like that). You captured it – or did Tim Winton capture it and then you got imprinted? either way, fantastic. You made me feel like I was out on the waves today — no small feat for a guy sitting in a skyscraper in a large metropolitan city. Thanx ! 🙂

    Victoria called it right : “sensory mysticism” (to tell you the truth — I think that is the only kind)!

    • Thank you Sabio, so glad I got it right. I’ve been body surfing, and on a boogie board but never really surfing but I am seriously thinking of getting some lessons at the local surf school…I wonder if you can teach an old duck new tricks! 🙂

  7. oh wow…i was so envious while reading this cause i thought you really DID surf…i so would love to do one day…but then…maybe i should just read that book..or re-read your poem..smiles

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