The Sea Speaks

Along the bird-loud beach a feeding flock
of gulls, a colony of tourists, assembles,
debating climate change around a rock
that tides will grind to sand and so resembles
hearts contrite and ground to dust, to be
within the world and with the world alone.
From higher cliffs we watch the wider sea
and number pods of whales that left their bone
and rib implanted on this bouldered coast.
I saw the wordless scroll on Melville's grave,
who saw himself at last extinct and lost,
while love resists beneath each brutal wave.
The ocean speaks in words the heart can feel
and from the depths: The whale alone is real.

Royal Rhodes is a retired educator now living in Central Ohio. He misses the sea. His poems have appeared in: Last Stanza, Ekstasis, Seventh Quarry, Chronogram, and elsewhere. Special collaborations of art and his poetry have been published by The Catbird [on the Yadking] Press in North Carolina.

Previous | Next