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. Timbuktu, 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 imagination. 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.
Nestletopia 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.
Halloween 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.
Murmuration 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 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.