Friday, February 1, 2019


I often joke that in a previous life I was a mermaid. I'm only partially kidding. I love the water- ocean, swimming pools, rivers, lakes. Maybe that's why I fell in love with Nicola Davies A FIRST BOOK OF THE SEA. Davies has written fifty original poems celebrating experiences like catching a wave, playing in the sand, visiting a tide pool. There are poems celebrating journeys- The Voyage of Captain Zheng He, Sea Turtle, Lord Beaufort's scale.  There are poems celebrating sea life. If I had a beach cottage, this book would be on my coffee table.

"First To See the Sea"
Who will be the first to see the sea?
It will peek between the hills
or show a dreamy line beyond the highway.
Who will be the first to feel their heart
fly up, and cry, "There! Oh there!
There's the sea! As if the whole ocean
had been lost, and found again.

"Finding Shells"
There's no special trick to finding seashells.
All you have to do is look.
It's hard at first, but soon your eyes
will start to notice tiny details
and you'll pick up little bits of beaut.
Let your heart sing for a moment,
then put them back:
someone else might need them.

Deadliest of All
The blue-ringed octopus perhaps?
Whose little bit you'd bearly feel…
until it killed you.

A tiger shark?
With rows of teeth
to slice you into bits.

A sea wasp jellyfish
The stings of just a single tentacle
could end your life.

No! Deadliest of all
is the plastic we throw away
that strangles, suffocates, and poisons.

"Blue Whale's Map"
Blue whales don't know much
about the land, but they can go
from Chile to China
from Alaska to Australia,
and still be in their kingdom.
So who knows more about
the world and what it's made of--
you or a blue whale.

Sand in my shoes
Salt in my hair
Apebble in my pocket.
The horizon in my eyes.

Tabatha Yeatts is hosting POETRY FRIDAY today.


Ramona said...

Love all of these! But especially “Happiness” which spoke to my heart w/ these lines:
“A pebble inI my pocket.
The horizon in my eyes.”
Requesting the book now!

Tara Smith said...

Happiness is reading lovely poems about the sea on a frigid winter day. Thanks, Carol!

Linda B said...

I love this book, too, Carol, wishing I could drive a few hours to the ocean right now! Thanks for sharing the beautiful glimpses of what the ocean gives us.

Tabatha said...

How sweet to think of you as a mermaid!
I appreciate (can't say "like" exactly):
"No! Deadliest of all
is the plastic we throw away
that strangles, suffocates, and poisons."

Linda Mitchell said...

Wow! That poem went to a place I didn't expect. But the truth of it is vital. Great post.