Dunes of Time

Sand granules shift in shoes
sweat stained belly, dripping hair.
Up and over and down and up
and over and dune after dune.
Some with coarse stubble grass
some ridged from recent winds,
steps sink deeper every step.

Alone with memories,
faces shift like heat shimmers
mirages in my exhausted mind.
One more ridge.
Burning feet stop cold,
pupils dilate, tear ducts long dry
begin to burn, arms lift in shock.

White ripples rise up enmasse,
cacophonous beating wings above my head
thousands swerve. Amorphous sound wave
disappears where blue meets blue.

I stumble, slip down this last sand mound
shocked by their intensity, here then gone.
Lying in cool waters, face to glaring sun
I understand now. They are all gone.


Published in response to Quickly’s Winter Doldrums: focus on a remembered moement when you seemed to enter into another sense of time.

18 thoughts on “Dunes of Time

  1. JoHanna Massey January 23, 2016 / 6:02 pm

    Lillian, this is so good. I took it in word by word and Yes, and Yes again. šŸŒ

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 23, 2016 / 6:04 pm

      Smiling I am over my early evening glass of wine. Thank you so much JoHanna! šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Debi Swim January 23, 2016 / 6:30 pm

    Intense feeling in this poem and I think the last line is very effective in summing up the emotion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 23, 2016 / 6:34 pm

      Thank you so much for the very kind words, Debi.
      I truly did come up this scene while on a dune walk in Provincetown, Cape Cod. I was exhausted, sweating like mad…it felt like I’d come a hundered miles over dune after dune and suddenly, at the top of the last one before the ocean, this HUGE flock of birds flew up, disturbed by my coming. They may have been plovers. They were definitely white. It was incredible. An out of body experience! So — that experience is where this is coming from. So glad you liked it.


  3. Melinda Kucsera January 23, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    wow “Burning feet stop cold,” — that is very cool playing with opposites there. Love the details, the twists and the surprise ending. I’m reading this while a blizzard drops a foot or more snow outside šŸ™‚ pleasant reading indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 24, 2016 / 5:37 am

      Good morning, Melinda! Enjoying my first cup of morning Joe, smiling at your words, happy that this time Boston dodged the bullet and, although very cold, got very little of the snow this time. ā˜•ļø
      Stay warm, my friend! Dream spring!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melinda Kucsera January 24, 2016 / 1:05 pm

        I am dreaming of spring. I spent my morning shoveling…we did get snow though not as much as NYC. šŸ˜€ Glad someone didn’t end up buried. I was starting to wonder if one needed to move to another continent to avoid the snow! There was a photo of the storm from space and even from that perspective it was massive!

        Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 24, 2016 / 6:18 am

      Thanks so much! Imbibing my morning coffee here – tippin’ my cup to you ā˜•ļø

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sunshine Jansen January 24, 2016 / 5:12 pm

    This is phenomenal, Lillian. I feel like I owe you something for chartering that well-needed vacation… šŸ™‚ Well, if you’re ever in Madison, Wisconsin I’ll buy you a drink — but I advise you to come in the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 25, 2016 / 9:53 am

      ah….Madison. Have a dear dear cousin who lives there……….and having grown up in Waukegan, Illinois, and then spending many many years in Iowa City, Iowa, am very familiar with Madison! Great town! Go Big 10 šŸ™‚
      So glad you liked this one! Stay warm out there……

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marcy Erb January 24, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    I loved the whole poem, but I wanted to add that the title really hooked me and pulled me in from the WordPress reader – “Dunes of Time”! Fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian January 25, 2016 / 9:56 am

      So nice to read your comment here over my first cup of joe. Late riser this morning……sunny but very cold here so woke up early and then just buried myself in the comforter again.
      Sometimes I find the titles are the hardest to do……..would be interesting to do a survey and find out if people create the title first, in the middle, or after a poem is done. For me, it’s definitely at the end and I usually try out a number of them……So glad you liked this one! šŸ™‚


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