Writing poetry on the shores of Lake Michigan as the sun sets in the background.

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 from Long Beach

Lights, rocks, the beach, the lake, and the sunset. Photo by Kristina Parro.

There’s nothing quite like spending time at the beach in autumn. Leaves falling like rain. Fiery sunsets. Nights by the fire. Waves crashing into the shore.

It is magical for me, being so near the place where the water meets the sky. Cleansing. Inspirational.

I love to wake up early and watch the sun rise on the horizon, while drinking my latte and listening to the surf. I enjoy long walks on the beach, while talking and taking in the views. I cherish moments spent with my friends and family; moments spent with my thoughts and my notebook.

These photos were taken and words were written on the shores of Lake Michigan in Indiana.


An Indiana Morning

Waves crashing against the rocks of Long Beach. Photo by Kristina Parro.

Morning. Two lovers. A walk along a hazy, pebble-covered beach.

The sky is aglow, painted by the rising sun. The tide is high; waves crash into the shore. The froth rushes out, leaving behind reflected rainbows in its wake.

Still water snakes along the lovers’ path, leaving sand islands between them and the lake. As the sherbet hues dance in the stillness, the couple stops to take in the view.

She leans in for a kiss, then they pause for a moment, faces pressed against one another. Just being, together.

The smell of his Nivea lingers on her face, long after the walk is over.

Who knew an Indiana morning could be this beautiful?


A figure walks along the shores of Lake Michigan, the sky and setting sun are reflected in the water. Photo by Kristina Parro.

Dive into my dreams.

Learn each square inch of my sun-lit cliffs and the shadowy depths of my valley floors.

Take a dip into my subconscious.

Learn who I really am. Deeper than I even know?

Bathe in my rivers. You shall learn, then be rewarded.

But, beware of the depths. Don’t drown.


The sun sets on a rippled Lake Michigan. Photo by Kristina Parro.

Spring turns to summer, then fall to winter.

Things grow, then die.

Love burns, then withers.

The circle of life: nothing is constant but change.

Water and Fire

A couple walks on Long Beach at golden hour. Photo by Kristina Parro.

The waves crash behind me. I’m warmed by the fire in front of me.

I sit on the beach, thinking about the people who have sat here before me. The Potowatomi’s, pioneers, and Presidents. Simon Pokagon, Harry Tuthill, Joe Biden.

My grandparents.

I want to ask them, “Were the colors always this vibrant? Was the sand always this soft? Were the sunsets always this beautiful?”

Time changes everything, but maybe this beach is beyond her grasp.

The lake grows dark behind me. I’m enlightened by the crackle of the flames.

A November Sunset

Unedited photo of the sunset on November 7, 2021 on the shores of Lake Michigan in Long Beach, IN. Photo by Kristina Parro.

As the salmon November sun sank into the glassy water, the world, momentarily, was set on fire.

Brushed stripes of magenta and apricot appeared painted on the turquoise sky, then reflected in the tide.

Just above the horizon, lead clouds were lit from underneath. For a moment, just a moment, the entire world glowed.

The beach doubles as a panoramic stage for the ultimate virtuoso to show off.

God? Mother Nature? Or, Miss Universe?

Selfie of me at the lake in November 2021