Gifted by the Sea

Gulls squawk
fight over half-eaten fish carcass,
wave-tossed, then shored
reclaimed to float and churn.

Gathered in hot sun
barefoot seekers squabble,
fingering shards tumbled smooth.
Blue-flowered ceramic slivers,
amber and green bits of hazy glass.

Neptune’s discards,
remnants with anonymous past.
Treasured leftovers.

IMG_9984

I’m hosting Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. The challenge today: write a quadrille (exactly 44 words, sans title) using the word, or a form of the word gather. Photo is a collection of sea glass and ceramic shards from our recent stay in Bermuda. Pub opens at 3:00 PM Boston time. Join our gathering today! Post also shared for day 23, Napowrimo

60 thoughts on “Gifted by the Sea

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 3:24 pm

      Me too. But this year in Bermuda, at the two “sea glass beaches” we visit, I found myself more enamored with the chips and pieces of ceramic….also smoothed from the waves’ tumbling. The challenge was to find ceramic shards with pattern or bits of writing on them 🙂

      Like

  1. Gospel Isosceles April 23, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    The idea of an anonymous past is appealing. It gives the treasure finder all the room in the world to imagine the story of what once was.And love how you painted the setting in a way I could feel the sand between my bare toes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 3:26 pm

      I often wonder when I handle a smooth hazy piece of sea glass….whose lips touched it? Was it once a glass to toast a happy occasion? And now that I’m delighting in searching for ceramic and china shards….the partial patterns…a scallop…a few letters where the back of the dish must have had the pattern name or something else written…..You’re right. It’s like holding a conch to your ear and hearing the sea…..fingering the shard and wondering…

      Liked by 1 person

      • lillian April 23, 2018 / 3:34 pm

        ooh…what a good idea…the mosaic! 🙂

        Like

  2. kim881 April 23, 2018 / 3:12 pm

    The ocean has so many gifts, Lill. On our beeches we can sometimes find amber, bits of the houses that were claimed in the great floods, and wonderful pebbles. It’s sea glass I’d love to find more of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 3:28 pm

      We go to two “sea glass” beaches in Bermuda. You have to catch them at low tides and then it is amazing. But I found myself more enamored this year with the bits of china and ceramics….notice the small portion of the leaf pattern on the biggest piece in the jar….I wonder if it was a platter? A plate? Used for special occasions? And what did the entire pattern look like?

      Liked by 1 person

      • kim881 April 23, 2018 / 4:14 pm

        I love those kinds of mysteries – they set the imagination free!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. jillys2016 April 23, 2018 / 3:18 pm

    Interesting contrasts between the beach dwellers; or perhaps comparisons 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 3:29 pm

      Exactly…glad you caught that Jilly. Deliberately contrasted squawking gulls and squabbling people….both over the leftovers of the sea 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. alisonhankinson April 23, 2018 / 3:29 pm

    What lovely treasures, the sea is a great giver, and the beach a wonderful place to gather. Joyful piece. XXX

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Frank Hubeny April 23, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    That gathering of glass and ceramic pieces is a good way to stimulate memory of the vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 3:35 pm

      ….and get the imagination going when you feel them and try to imagine their past! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 4:57 pm

      Thank you, Sarah. It is always such a tactile experience, to pick up those shards and have them be so smooth!

      Like

  6. Jane Dougherty April 23, 2018 / 4:28 pm

    There are few things more mysterious than the odds and sods polished and discarded by the sea.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jo Aylard April 23, 2018 / 4:29 pm

    Wonderful writing! I especially enjoyed this line;
    “barefoot seekers squabble
    fingering shards tumbled smooth.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 4:58 pm

      Thank you, Jo. So very glad you enjoyed. I love looking at this jar on my shelf and remembering the beautiful waters of Bermuda! 🙂

      Like

  8. Beverly Crawford April 23, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    They are lovely memories in a glass, Lillian, and you took us there with your lovely words!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 4:58 pm

      Always happy to take armchair travelers along 🙂

      Like

  9. Misky April 23, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    Gosh, this is so vivid I can almost smell the sea air. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      It’s interesting….I grew up in Illinois…a central state. Although I was near Lake Michigan, I rarely when “down to the lake” as in those days, it was where the boys with the rolled up tee shirt sleeves with a Lucky Strikes package tucked in one, hung out! So I was “landlocked” all those years…and for almost 20 years in Iowa where we lived when married, and raising our children. Now in Boston, I frequencly walk along the Charles River…and we spend two weeks in Provinceton literally right on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean…and 4 years in Bermuda with those beautiful waters so close. I LOVE the ocean and the sea. We have a sound machine by our bedside….we turn it on to ocean waves or rain sounds each night. Something about water….:) Glad you enjoyed this one!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Candy April 23, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    love the phrase, “Neptune’s discards”. What a lovely way to think of those bits and pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Grace April 23, 2018 / 6:47 pm

    I keep those treasures leftovers from the sea ~ Love your colorful collection Lillian ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 11:50 pm

      I like looking at the jar on my shelf — it reminds me of Bermuda’s beautiful waters 🙂 A bit of it here with me here in Boston 🙂

      Like

  12. nosaintaugustine April 23, 2018 / 7:04 pm

    Love how you tied the first stanza to the second with that haiku-like third stanza- Great condensed imagery and ideas there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 11:51 pm

      Ah…thank you much! So glad you enjoyed.

      Like

  13. Caitlin Gramley April 23, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    Reminds me of my kids and the joy on their faces when they discover “treasure ” in the sand. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 11:52 pm

      Oh yes….beaches are such fun for children! Sand castles and waves tickling toes. 🙂

      Like

  14. mhmp77 April 23, 2018 / 7:58 pm

    kaykuala

    Neptune’s discards,
    remnants with anonymous past.
    Treasured leftovers.

    Yes, they could have a great past. One never can tell!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 11:53 pm

      That’s the mystery of sea glass and the bits of ceramics!

      Like

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 11:54 pm

      Something special about sand between your toes and the sun on your back…either building sandcastles or finding treasures in the sand!

      Like

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 11:54 pm

      Ah yes….two different types of scavengers indeed.

      Like

    • lillian April 23, 2018 / 11:55 pm

      They’re a mystery, right? Was it a bottle? A glass? A fancy glass used to toast someone? A bottle broken in fury, bursting into pieces and thrown into the sea? Anonymous….

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Vivian Zems April 24, 2018 / 6:53 am

    Neptune’s trash…our treasure. Lovely finds, Lillian!

    Like

    • lillian April 24, 2018 / 9:10 am

      I do love collecting the ceramic shards — actually harder to find than sea glass

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Linda Kruschke April 24, 2018 / 11:02 am

    I felt like I was there on the beach with you. Love these two phrases most: “shards tumbled smooth” and “Neptune’s discards.”

    Like

  17. Singledust April 24, 2018 / 11:38 am

    I am going for a beach holiday this weekend and your poem has me thinking of the different things to gather on my walk along the beach, i will be gathering memories too. love the photo of your treasures.

    Like

  18. whimsygizmo April 24, 2018 / 1:34 pm

    I am loving all the gorgeous sibilance in that second stanza. 🙂

    Like

  19. whippetwisdom April 24, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    A wonderful quadrille Lillian, I especially love ‘Neptune’s discards, remnants with anonymous past.
    Treasured leftovers’. We find sea glass on the beaches here too :o) xxx

    Like

  20. peterfrankiswrites April 24, 2018 / 6:17 pm

    Lovely piece – like others, your poem took me back to my childhood collection of sea-changed glass (which lasted only as long as the holidays).

    Like

  21. Victoria C. Slotto April 24, 2018 / 6:41 pm

    Wonderful detail in this and a great sense of mystery shrouded in that anonymous past!

    Like

  22. Manja Mexi Movie April 25, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    I like the poem but I love your gathered pieces even more – at least I suppose they are yours. 🙂 Such joy! All my life has been full of such leftovers.

    Like

  23. Mish April 25, 2018 / 10:59 pm

    I like the way your collection is treasured despite an anonymous past, appreciated for its present beauty. Would be a good analogy for humanity and relationships.

    Like

  24. Kern Windwraith April 26, 2018 / 2:19 pm

    You’ve synthesized my childhood (and adulthood) beach memories into forty-four perfect words. I can almost taste the salt of the surf and feel the sand on my soles.

    Like

  25. katiemiafrederick April 28, 2018 / 9:46 am

    i Love to Tale ‘A Wife’
    An ‘Arm’ of ‘That Table’
    is pArt of
    ‘the SoUL’
    of both the
    Architect
    Sketch
    And Artisan
    Hands on who
    Built it as what
    Remains of all
    SoULs whose
    SPiRiT LiVeS oN
    By ArmS heARTSouL
    wHo GaTHeR aS oNe..:)

    Like

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