The girl sat awhile,
gazing out over the waves
from a solitary sandbar.
Pebbles and rock ground fine,
parched by harsh sun,
as wave after wave came,
again and again.
Awash in waves of guilt,
drowning on dry land.
Nothing curled in the air
but the sound of nothing,
the hymn of nothing,
the humming . . .


Written for Real Toads where the prompt is to write a piggyback poem:
First and last lines should be quoted from two different poems. First line here is from Maureen Hynes, The Horses, the Sorrow, the Umbilicus; last line is from Mark Strand’s She. Photo from

17 thoughts on “Desolate

    • lillian August 10, 2018 / 10:39 pm

      Thank you! Have been meaning to find my way over to Real Toads for quite some time.


  1. Pat: willow88switches August 10, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    extremely evocative and haunting … and as Sherry noted, the last line “the hymn of nothing” the humming … is gripping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 10, 2018 / 10:41 pm

      Well…that’s Mark Strand’s line from the middle of one of his poems….but I thought it fit so well here and fulfilled the piggyback poem prompt.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kanzensakura August 10, 2018 / 2:57 pm

    It is good to see you over here. I like this a lot especially the last three lines. Excellent ending to an excellent poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 10, 2018 / 10:42 pm

      Thank you, Toni. I’ve been meaning to make my way to Real Toads….will do some reading there in n the AM.


  3. mhmp77 August 10, 2018 / 9:21 pm


    Nothing curled in the air
    but the sound of nothing,
    the hymn of nothing,

    It rightly brings out the picture of desolation, Lillian!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Adda August 10, 2018 / 10:00 pm

    I enjoyed the poem. The last lines portray guilt feeling so well. Remarkable! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian August 10, 2018 / 10:44 pm

      Thanks, Adda. I had to search through quite a few poems to find that line in the middle of a Mark Strand poem. It seemed to fit so well.


  5. Jim August 11, 2018 / 1:24 pm

    You pieced this together very well, Lillian. Sad in a way, :“wave after wave came,
    again and again”
    yet to no avail. Perhaps though, those waves may have a lingering after cleansing action. I hope.
    I too am rejuvenating from college working, I was a Professor of Business, teaching Business courses with a concentrations of Business Law courses but others (I loved teaching Entrepreneurship classes) with my JD degree. Earlier I was a Senior Aerospace Engineer with Ford Aerospace Corporation at NASA Houston in Simulation and Training, for the Flight Controllers and Astronauts an then being a Flight Controller during each Skylab Mission.
    I started to introduce myself in your “About” section but it all when “poof” and so I’m here boring you with TMI.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim August 11, 2018 / 1:27 pm

      Welcome to the Garden. I hang out here a lot but aren’t a toad, only a wayward sojourner.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lillian August 11, 2018 / 2:46 pm

        It seems to be a nice spot……I’m not a toad either…..expect I’ll just be a lily pad there! 🙂


    • lillian August 11, 2018 / 2:46 pm

      Not bored at all, Jim. Happy to meet you! A fellow rejuvenator….I’ve always said we should start a rejuvenatement movement!
      So glad you enjoyed my post….I had to look and look for that final line to complete the rest of the piece…finally found it in the midst of a Mark Strand poem!


  6. purplepeninportland August 12, 2018 / 7:54 pm

    “the hymn of nothing
    the humming . . . ”

    Such delicate silence and sadness. We both picked the same first line for this.

    So good to see you here, Lillian!


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