By the Sea

Standing in front of the sea,
she smiles with moon-kissed lips.
I immerse myself,
deeper and deeper still.
Explore her nautilus curves.
Ebb and flow within her wake,
then lie still
as darkness gives way to light
and dawn awakens me.

I lie stilled on deserted beach.
Low tide surrounds me,
as if the ocean bared its soul.
Oh rapturous sleep, I question thee.
Was she real, this goddess of the night?
Or was she but a siren
escaped from far-off craggy coast?
Tears flow from my eyes
staring up at blushing sky.

Spent am I,
splayed out on moist and rippled sand.
And then my fingers feel . . . what?
Something smooth and cool to touch.
A nautilus.
I stare at it in wonder.
Then slowly, lowered to my lips,
my mouth upon its curved edge
I whisper hoarsely,
I shall return tonight, my love.
You are my destiny.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where it’s Tuesday poetics and we are asked to explore erotica in poetry. I like to think of this as romantic rather than erotic. Simply my choice of words. Photo taken last year in Provincetown during a full moon.

21 thoughts on “By the Sea

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) September 1, 2020 / 2:24 pm

    Oh this was very much a romantic story… I feel it’s also a bit mythical, I’m thinking of the lure of sea-creatures, selkies and mermaids, but that lure is more erotic than truly romantic


  2. Lucy September 1, 2020 / 3:04 pm

    Wow, this is very sensual and just really a descriptive scene in each word and line. Both erotic and romantic, the perfect combo. Beautifully written!


  3. Grace September 1, 2020 / 3:13 pm

    Such a beautiful encounter or dream. Nevertheless,it is sensual and the ending, tugging the heart.


  4. The Abject Muse September 1, 2020 / 3:15 pm

    Beautiful writing. Your use of imagery is right on the money. Charming, romantic, with a hint of eroticism. Nicely done!


  5. sanaarizvi September 1, 2020 / 3:16 pm

    This is absolutely exquisite, Lillian! 😀 “nautilus curves,” is such a strong image! Love it! Thank you so much for adding your voice to the prompt. ❤️


  6. Dale September 1, 2020 / 3:18 pm

    This was wonderfully romantic and sensual – for me, this is more erotic


  7. Beverly Crawford September 1, 2020 / 3:53 pm

    Deliciously and tastefully erotic, Lillian. Bravo


  8. kim881 September 1, 2020 / 4:15 pm

    Wow, Lill, you pulled out all the stops with this poem! It’s amazing the effect a walk by the sea can have. I love the ‘moon-kissed lips’, ‘nautilus curves’ and the ‘ebb and flow within her wake’. I also like the way you describe the morning after, with the surrounding low tide ‘as if the ocean bared its soul’.


  9. msjadeli September 1, 2020 / 8:31 pm

    I love the curved shape of the shell and the feeling of enchantment in your poem, Lillian.


  10. Just Barry September 1, 2020 / 8:52 pm

    Sensual, romantic, and ethereal. I am entranced by your words.


  11. Christine Bolton September 1, 2020 / 9:06 pm

    I love the sensuality of this Lillian. It is beautiful and wondrous and I loved it ☺️


  12. rothpoetry September 1, 2020 / 10:08 pm

    Very nice Lillian. The mystery runs throughout the poem.


  13. Ingrid September 2, 2020 / 4:01 am

    I love the way this is told from the perspective of the helpless, enchanted lover, the dual meaning and the use of the nautilus to tie it all together – both romantic and erotic, an excellent response to the prompt!


  14. Vivian Zems September 2, 2020 / 9:43 am

    The right balance of romance and and sensuality…. beautiful.


  15. robtkistner September 2, 2020 / 1:56 pm

    This is sweetly sensual Lillian, well written. I like the mythological essence… 🙂


  16. Jenna Kirkpatrick September 2, 2020 / 4:38 pm

    I am so pleased to have found this prompt and your beautiful poem.
    Aaaah sigh! Happy thoughts ❤


  17. peterfrankiswrites September 2, 2020 / 9:38 pm

    So good Lillian, love the nautilus imagery – (reminds me of Marianne Moore’s poem – ‘The Paper Nautilus’ ) – and just a delicious verse.


  18. pvcann September 2, 2020 / 10:52 pm

    Romantic, dreamy, and spacious, loved reading this.


  19. Tabitha Little October 8, 2020 / 6:11 pm

    I love this, felt like I was there ❤️❤️


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