Poetry Prompt: Swell

The ocean dances. It undulates and curls. Arches back and bends forward. The proud swell leaps toward the finale along the shore. The choreography can be beautiful, or it can be severe and unrelenting.

Poetry Prompt: Write a poem from the perspective of a wave, as it reaches the shore.

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a poem from Zachary we enjoyed:

At dawn I knelt to touch a star
clinging to a shell of hammered metal
in a tidal pool.

This afternoon a flock of birds
sniped at brine-flies
bursting out of white-hot sand,
while faceless totems drifted
back and forth between two worlds.

Now, as evening falls,
a million jewels emerge,
then plummet one by one into the sea:
too heavy for the sky to hold,
too beautiful for words alone
to make them shine.

—by Zachary Garripoli


Photo by Jeff Rowley. Creative Commons license via Flickr. Post by Heather Eure.


Sometimes we feature your poems in Every Day Poems, with your permission of course. Thanks for writing with us!

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  1. Marcy Terwilliger says

    Sea, calm.
    Black round tube,
    Around my waist.
    Drifting my life away.
    Sleepy eyes wake-up,
    To find.
    Barely see the shoreline,
    Strong swimmer not me,
    Waves crash,
    Arms pushing hard,
    Feet peddle fast.
    Finally reach the shore,
    I will not do that anymore.

  2. says

    of emptiness and light

    how glorious

    to be made

    of small things—

    light passes through us,

    even in the shade—

    we shine, we glow,

    impalpable to eyes,

    so made of waves,

    like fields of grass,

    or dunes of sand,

    and those on which

    the oceans rise.

  3. Marcy Terwilliger says

    “Light or Darkness”

    Is this light all you know?
    Have you’ve seen Heaven’s glow?
    White light, I’ve been told.
    How about darkness?
    Have you really seen it yet?
    Pitch black and bottomless,
    Does it scare you to death?
    In darkness, lies regrets.
    I’ll swim up and take the light,
    Let it shine through,
    Inside my body, flows like the sea
    As it runs to you.
    The Son, bright shinning star,
    Is what I see.
    Lift me Lord, Lift me from the deep.

  4. says

    by Julie Sumner

    I spent a liquid life
    Gathering prisms and porpoises,
    As many as my wide arms would hold,
    Then leapt headlong toward the sun’s embrace,
    Straining upward for just a kiss,
    Emptying my whole glittering self,
    Flinging all I had gathered
    To the warm, giddy sand.

  5. says

    just before sleep this poem
    rises from my ocean-bed
    a subtle swell gaining strength and
    form like energy that builds from
    the pull of the moon over the tides
    and the force of the wind over the sea
    tension builds within the wave while
    inertia hurtles words toward
    the shore tighter and tighter until
    this work crashes onto the beach
    exploding infinitely into the air
    to nourish the breath of each
    reader who passes by


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