A Friendly Place to Breathe


From her window I couldn’t see the river

unless I pressed my head hard against the flywire

to try and glimpse a patch of blue

yet the moving yacht masts poking out high above the rooftops

let me know how close we were to the water

spires moving forward out toward the ocean

had broken free from their moorings


I walked the river bend the day before

right up to the rock wall and felt the salt spray from waves

as they ripped themselves apart, bleeding foam across the rocks

I watched fishermen cast their lines out

between eager surfers who battled the inconsistencies of water

they balanced so well…taking the smooth

then swirling to dive before the rocks and surf could crush them

how well they timed their manoeuvres to divert from danger



At night the red light flashed its warning across the sea

we watched it blink from the beachside

“that’s where you walked today,” she said pointing toward the light

blinking its warning alone

“some people should come with warning lights.”

We both laughed and fell into the beat of a

of a funky jazz pumped up pavement


later I lay in bed listening to the crashing waves in the distance

her white shutters kept out the light

but let the breeze and waves blur out my persistent nightmares

I thought of you without a red light…charming your next victim

I missed you in that moment but recalled the price of your love

and my mind swirled and dived before the damage could be done

distancing myself requires such manoeuvres


I pictured myself free, knowing this is just the first step

and I lulled myself to sleep with the promises of a scary

yet exciting future

while the waves continuously crashed over the night

to remind me that some things like people

will never change


For dversepoets Poetics: Outside the window


13 thoughts on “A Friendly Place to Breathe

  1. sounds you found peace that night… the ocean…rhyhthm of the waves is a peaceful place/sound and sleeping to her gentle beat – i can imagine that it washes away the nightmares….and yes..some people should come with a red warning light..

  2. The progression of this tells a story (or many).. the red warning light being the connection throughout.. the description of the fishermen is delightful.. and the peaceful tone give solace (despite the pains in the later part of the poem).. lovely

  3. nice…lots of promise ahead…you touch several relationships in this…the first a good friend, a family member, a child or parent….the last a love we have excaped and what that means for the days ahead….really a great write di

  4. Perhaps it is our responsibility to carry the warning, if you are really living life, you never know what tomorrow will bring. Perhaps what we see as so painful, is just another way to say ‘beginning,’ sounds like a door opening, maybe you are very lucky. If someone isn’t who you wanted them to be, you can not make room for the one you are searching for. Good luck!

  5. I was with you, watching and listening to the crashing waves ~ I agree that some people should come with warning lights ~ then the lesson – that everything changes, that nothing stays the same ~ Happy week Di ~

  6. Beautiful poem. I love your relationship with the ocean here, tumbling and crashing, somewhat like the turbulence felt. But it ended in acceptance and peace and a positive outlook for the future. As though the sea had refreshed you. May 2014 be kind to you.

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