by John Herzog

feet submerged in the sands
like a ship taking water
I stand stoic staring at nothing
as the tide rolls slowly upon me
chills rolling through my bones rising
from my ankles then to my knees
before I even see that
I am at sea

and then it recedes

I can breathe

toes donned in sand and silt
ageless but aging eroding
I stand still my eyes meeting
the scant sunlight between the clouds
as the tide comes to my waist
before I realize it rises yet higher
I step back searching for the shore
behind me but the ocean draws me in

and then it recedes

a sigh stolen in the westerlies

legs dressed in twisting coral
reef born out of the centuries
standing suspended in time the
sun long set no starlight to guide
me the tides rise above my chest
a sunken treasure my eyes barely
breaking the surface now broken
water unbroken too late to see
it has taken me


Posted on 03/21/2018
Copyright © 2021 John Herzog

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Glenn Currier on 03/27/18 at 02:18 PM

Excellent, John. You take us on a journey that - I have to believe - many of us can relate to. The beauty of this piece is that it enables the reader to both empathize, accompany you, and reflect on our own paths. Thanks.

Posted by Laura Doom on 04/20/18 at 08:14 PM

The title, Tides, is intriguing. Seas ebb and flow, progress and regress; water levels fluctuate relative to a fixed plane (global warming excepted). Here the flow overwhelms the ebb and the narrator is eventually sucked in/under, and the extended metaphor emphasises the unknown, assumed extraneous factor that causes, or rather allows, this to happen; engagingly mesmerizing.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 05/14/18 at 07:29 PM

This has a compelling flow with no punctuation, not always traditional line breaks or word connections and that makes the structure powerful as relating to the tides, the you, the inevitable. "the tides rise above my chest a sunken treasure " brilliant lines. Whether metaphorical or literal this is gripping and my pick for POTD. Thanks.

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