Category Archives: Poetry

Poems from Long Beach (2022)

Welcome back to my blog! 

2022 was a year for the books, filled with love, travel, and personal growth. I got engaged to the love of my life, made memories in new places, and spent countless hours reading and writing. As I explored the country from coast to coast, I found myself constantly drawn back to the beauty of the Great Lakes, specifically the shores of Lake Michigan. It was there, in Duneland, that I found the inspiration for these poems, each of which is accompanied by personal photographs from Long Beach, Indiana.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. 

The Escape

Escape with me.

We’ll go far away,
to a place they won’t have already
     seen me, 
         known me, 
             judged me.
To a place where I can be 
     without pretense.
To a place like Paris, 
     or Neverland.
     or somewhere else. 

Escape with me.

We’ll run far,
      the world’s wide,
           let’s explore it all:
                the nooks and crannies,
                the alleyways and backstreets,
                the mountains, the canyons,
                the lakes and the seas. 

We’ll go places you can 
only reach in your 
Because we can escape together, 
        without ever leaving
                 the place it all began. 
A Duneland Sunset

Chicago, I see you there, 
you sparkly-eyed silhouette.
Tiny stars fly in against 
a Golden salamander sunset.

Metallic waves roll in, 
painting a mirror in their wake,
reflecting darkening skies and beauty; 
a photo you could never take. 

The city from across the lake,
could hit her with a skipped sea stone.
As the sun sets on Duneland, 
I miss the bright lights of my home.

But, I listen to my inland sea. 
It grows quiet, the sky goes dark.
Like a beacon, still you shimmer.
My breathing, beating birthmark. 

The Autumn sun flipped a switch. 
Like magic, the leaves were aglow. 
Their light shone on the dune cave, 
ivy-covered, hidden from below.

It was a shelter from the coming cold.
A haven for our love to grow.
A sanctuary to find our god.
A refuge from the status quo. 

We called it “Nestletopia,” 
our perch upon the shore, 
and stole stones from the beach, 
as if we needed something more
than the art we made at the lake. 

In each other, we found DaVinci. 
The teacher, master, pupil, servant:
every hat worn by the sea. 

Our veins intertwined with the ivy,
until our dying day. 
Even then, we lingered still, 
like life was just foreplay. 

‘Cause we left a golden mark, 
constructed a sea-side portal. 
A Great Lake upon Eternity, 
time travel for a mortal.

A tiger striped with turquoise 
became a starless night.
A void in the noise;
the Theatre de Fright. 

Any horror could ensue
on this stage, once blue. 
Dare not misconstrue,
It could happen to you. 

"I'm not scared of monsters."
You try to convince me.
"What about witches?"
"This close to the sea?"

Your ego brings you comfort
'til shadows shift with the breeze,
and the beach is overtaken by a
deep, ghostly freeze. 

You scoot close to the fire.
There's no need to count sheep. 
Despite your fear of reapers,
The sea soothes your soul to sleep.  

Glowing embers flicker,
the last of the light. 
Your breathing grows weary,
'til your neck is grasped tight. 

Emergency! Emergency!

Their whisper whizzed past me first;
so loud, it gave me whiplash,
a neck cramp,
as I tried to identify the culprit.

’Til I saw them, 
glorious, in formation,
flocking, flapping furiously
towards their destination.

A murmuration!

“Will we make it?” cried one.
“Stop squawking!” murmured the next.
“Flit faster,” called a third.
“Cooperate!” another twitted. 

“We have to stick together.” 
“A storm is coming.” 

So they swooped and swirled,
close together, well-knit. 
The starlings headed west,
’til a reverse split. 

“Safety,” breathed in one. 
“Shelter,” breathed out another.
“Life,” breathed in the next. 
“Future,” breathed out a fourth. 

As they floated out of view,
their murmurs became a memory,
and in their place, silence.

The blizzard had arrived.
An Indiana Afternoon 

Days after the storm. 
A walk along the frozen lakeshore, 
just before the sea and beach 
rekindled their romance.

You and I saw 
sand cliffs become waterfalls, 
ice pancakes become stars, 
the sea become the universe. 
We watched waves rush in, 
and dunes disappear. 
Nothing living in sight,
just the wind did we hear. 

January in Long Beach, 
or maybe we were on Mars. 

Check out An Indiana Morning from my first installment of Poems from Long Beach!
Was it You?

The winds sang the song of my ancestors, 
people who loved this place before me. 
I sat on the pebbled beach, 
waves lapping into the shore, 
as the sky transformed. 

A light show caught my attention 
across the horizon, 
across from the setting sun. 

Stars danced on the water, 
getting closer and closer 
to my resting spot against the boulders, 
til they were upon me, 
swirling around me, 
engulfing me in the light. 

“Who are you?” 
I barely whispered, 
not wanting to dispel the magic. 

The winds replied. 
“Energy is neither created or destroyed.”

The swirling light got 
brighter, brighter, brighter— 
‘til suddenly, 
with a poof, 
darkness swirled instead. 
The light was gone, 
like it had never been there at all. 

“Energy is neither created or destroyed.” 

The winds’ words lingered like the tide, 
as I wondered where the lights went. 

I’ll Dream of the Sea

Metallic blue sea,
come back to me.
Rainbow sunshine, 
will you always be mine?

One minute you’re there,
the next, you’re gone.
You smolder and gleam,
then disappear with a yawn.

In your place,
outer space.
Inky scars, 
glowing stars.

A different flow,
it’s time to go.
I’ll dream of the sea,
‘til you come back to me. 

Bring it on, 2023. ‘Til next time, we’ll dream of the sea.

Poems for the Family: The Perfect Gift

It’s funny to me how words seem to flow,
Only after a person is gone.
But I want to express the love in my heart,
Before my loves venture beyond.

I gave these poems as gifts,
But they mean too much not to share.
The people who inspired them
Are amazing beyond compare.

Poetry makes a thoughtful gift for the holidays, a birthday, or just because. All of these poems were written by me, Kristina Parro, as Christmas gifts this year. The recipients gave me permission to share— to help inspire the flow of your own words and maybe even your own poetry.

Tina’s Tip: Be vulnerable with yourself and others. It feels good to put words to your feelings and even better to share them with those you love.

Poem for my Mom

My Mother, My Captain

If my life were the ocean,
We’d have seen
The sunniest days
And stormiest of seas.

Through it all,
My captain,
Who weathered each
Alongside me.

My mother,
My captain,
My light,
And my world.

Without you,
I’d be ship-wrecked.
My survival,
Up to the sea’s swirls.

Poem for my Dad

A Daughter’s Debt

If I had ten million dollars,
And spent it all on you,
I’d never be able to repay
The debt to you that’s due.

Remember when I was little?
I’d fall asleep in the car.
You’d carry me inside,
But I was heavy and it was far.

Then, when I grew older,
You taught me how to be.
Generous, inquisitive, and stoic.
All the advice you gave for free.

You taught me to work hard,
To think, to create, and to love.
To be true to myself,
And to hold my family above.

We are cut from the same cloth,
You and me are two peas in a pod.
I’ll always pick you as the MVP:
My favorite on the squad.

I’m grateful for what you’ve given me,
But more thankful for our bond.
We will be together forever,
Whether we’re here, or the beyond.

Poem for my Brother

Yin and Yang

She was the sun, 
He, the moon.

Different, but complementary.
Separate, but together.

Yin and yang.
Brother and sister.

They say a connection between the two
Brings harmony so powerful
Wars would stop
And world peace would be had.

They say, infinity is found,
Between balanced opposites.
Like with you and me,
And the relationship we’ve fostered.

In this kaleidoscope world,
Often separated by distance and reality,
I’ve become grateful for adversity,
For it only strengthens our bond.

Poem(s) for my Grandma(s)

Grandma’s House

Blue was the color of the house 
Where I made those
childhood memories.

Ivory were the keys of the piano,
Which played your
lyrical melodies.

Coffee was the smell in the air,
When the words “Good morning,”
you exclaimed.

Sweet is the smell of the flowers
After which that beautiful street
was named.

Warm was your smile
When I walked inside
Lily of the Valley in my hand.

Full was my heart
When we got to do all the
fun things you had planned.

Stamped and Etched

Remember when you called me,
Just a few weeks ago?
To thank me for the pictures and poems
From the beach, so well, you know.

“Thank you,” you said, enthusiastically.
Then you repeated it five times.
Your voice made me so happy,
I thought that I might cry.

“Thanks for sharing your creativity
and your talents with the world.”
Words like that, from a woman like you,
Gave my heart a little twirl.

Your voice made me so happy,
I’ll remember it forever.
Stamped with love in my memories,
And etched in every endeavor.

Poem for my (future) Sister-in-Law

A Distant Memory

Inside you is a spirit,
That I remember
With sparkling clarity and vivid color,
Yet hadn’t known,
Until you wandered into my life,
On the arm of my baby brother.

Maybe it’s your energy,
Or a distant memory from a past life.

All I know, is that
Life finds a way
Of returning to you
Those whom you need to find.

Poem for my Boyfriend’s Brother

Trip of a Lifetime

If years were measured in miles,
This would be your longest one yet.
Countless hours spent in your van,
On a quest for a life sans regrets.

How many spend their lives wishing
To travel far and wide?
But not many would forgo their comfort
To live a life outside.

You made the most of the pandemic,
Doing what others wish they could.
I’m inspired by your trip of a lifetime,
And the challenges you’ve withstood.

My Poetry Writing Process

While writing these poems, I began with a brainstorming session: writing down some of my favorite memories, stories, or concepts that reminded me of the poem’s inspiration. I read poems that others had written about their loved ones. I meditated and tried to connect with my deepest feelings. From there, I built the message and prose for each individual poem. Finally, in order to make sure the flow and rhythm worked, I read the poems out loud— over and over.

Comment on this post with your best poetry tips, or a poem that you have written for a loved one! I’d love to read them!