dVerse Poets – Art of Walter Smith

I wrote this a while back and don’t think I ever intended to post it anywhere. When I saw the picture below by the featured artist on dVerse, Walter Smith, I decided to dig it out, revise a little and give it a look. I guess it has been long enough.  Thanks to Walter for the image and dVerse Poets for the prompt. Mom’s favorite place was the beach. *Note: it was left justified, but I could not get some formatting to work. So tried centering.*

Daybreak on the Beach

(Because it had to be written)


Sparse dune grass lines the path

bent by its eternal war with ocean winds;

swaying in the pre-dawn chill of late November,

indifferent to occasion or emotion

or the small troop it greeted that morning.

An irregular column forcing itself onto the beach,

all bundled, hunched over, pressing forward,



Resolutely assuming position among the dunes,

unflinching, turning to confront the sea

awaiting the signal to commence,

to fulfill a duty, honor a wish;

dawn acknowledged.

(no gasp, no joy, no relief; just confirmation)

All attention turns to the ignored burden,

and the one burdened by it,

now laid on the sand and reverently opened,



revealing, rather anticlimactically, the cause of the day,

expecting, needing, something grander, as would be appropriate,

not just a bag, with contents incomprehensible.

Unable to reconcile memory, personality, love

with these… Ashes.

Open now, exposed to the world,

the Burdened reaches in with gentle hand,

pauses with heavy sigh and grasps a handful.

(no words, no prayer; just a beginning of an end)



Moving slow, unsure of proper procedure,

then releasing skyward with a spasm

watching the path… expectantly…

waiting for a response, an embrace,

as the wind and sand take possession.

Mournfully repeating, each taking their turn,

tears and Ash mingling as is befitting.

Contents emptied, each pauses,

eyes down, or on the water, or examining the sunrise,

immersed in memory, trying to comprehend the event.



Finding no cause to linger,

knowing there is still a day to conquer,

the lightened troop reverses its course,

restoring their masks as they abandon the beach

to early walkers and sand castle builders

who know not upon what they trod,

or with what new material they build.




Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

6 responses to “dVerse Poets – Art of Walter Smith

  1. i like the repetition of determined reluctant, gives it the right vibe

    disembodied spheres

  2. nice…you pick a tough moment…the releasing of the shes…it is cool that they can rest where they found solace once you know…or at least the ashes…and def a nice use of repetition mark…

  3. i love that you picked up on what walter gave us as a background and led us on the path so masterfully.. and i too like the use of repetition

  4. oh man, this is bone-chilling! I feel the sadness and def the determined…reluctant repeats. Sounds like soldiers, and the ending about not knowing what material they are making sand castles out of made me catch my breath. Very nice, Mark.

  5. Very lovely capture of that moment of releasing ashes to the wind and sand… determined, reluctant line until the ending verse is powerful ~

    Thanks for sharing this ~

  6. Very powerful…I have my mother’s ashes still. I’ve often been tempted to release them to the sea. That’s why I made this picture my choice also. The clumsy yet determined way they “let go” is so like life. Not knowing but moving forth regardless. Great choice of words.Thank you.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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