Category Archives: Ocean

Sweet

Sun beats down 

My mind drfits, images of you 

You broke my heart 

Yet nothing has changed 

You are the only one.

Children play

Lovers frolic at the beach 

Waves rhythmically caress the sand 

And my thoughts return

You are the only one.

Strap hanging, stealing furtive glances

Hoping to lose myself 

In those green eyes

Again

Days pass like clockwork 

You are the only one.

Move on

Move out 

Move over 

Renew

Endless words given 

Like inappropriate birthday presents

Nothing ever changes

You are the only one

For me.


Staten Island: Someplace That I Used To Know.

“Oh Sandy the aurora is rising behind us
The pier lights our carnival life forever
Oh love me tonight and I promise I’ll love you forever
Hey Sandy Girl…”
Bruce Springsteen circa 1973

As I sat watching Hurricane Sandy start to pound Staten Island late on Monday night (October 29th), I was thinking about that song. The power had been out for a couple of hours and the titillation of
lighting candles, had long since passed, as mobile phones were turned off to conserve the batteries, because the storm could last all night, and who knew what the morning would bring.

Monday had started with a trip into Manhattan. Driving my sister-in-law and family, who were visiting from London, to their hotel in Times Square. The Governor’s of New York and New Jersey had already declared a ‘State of Emergency’.  The Mayor on NYC had decreed that all bridges and tunnels in and out of NYC would be closed at 2pm.
So off we went, 6 of us on a journey through the wind and rain. The traffic as expected was very light, and after dropping them off and making sure that their room was still available, we headed back to Staten Island, not knowing what lay ahead over the next 24 hours.

Midnight passed.
The wind was bending trees at a 45 degree angle, the fence next door had been ripped off, and the patio furniture was doing a macabre dance back and forth across the yard.
I stepped outside the front door with my torch and saw a black and white beach ball in front of my driveway.
WHOOSH….the windswept the ball away, I tried to follow with the torch, but I lost it and had to take a few more steps into the blackness, before I spotted it again.

For the next few minutes, there took place, in the middle of the most destructive hurricane to hit NYC since forever, a pantomime soccer game. Of course there were no players (that I could see), but I know they were there. And as if Sandy was paying homage to Sam Allardyce, the ball was hoofed up the road. Possession, quickly lost, as the ball was now winding its way back towards me, some neat one-two passing. Yet again, the big tackle robbed the ball and possession, and again the ball moved quickly away from me. I was getting soaked to the skin, the wind was ferocious and everyone else in the house was asleep…the old line of “Mad dogs and Englishmen” popped into my head, but I was hesitant to move.

Finally the decision was taken out of my hands, as the ball was at the end of the road and turned sharp right and was gone from my torchlight!
The game was over. I claimed a 1-0 victory for West Ham and retreated back inside the house.
For the next few hours, I fought back some water that was trickling into the house above the back door, and went off to bed, hoping that my make shift “towel barrier” would do the job.

Tuesday morning. The storm was over. Out back the neighbor’s fence had settled down and the broken furniture had taken up residence in some strange places, so I headed out front. Branches and tree limbs were scattered everywhere, but no downed trees. A couple of blocks away, people were not as lucky. Huge trees downed, streets ripped up and now impassable.
Who knew that we were the “lucky ones”.

No power. No phone service. I had a portable radio and that was the only contact to the outside world. Highlight’s, (actually Lowlights) from the first 30 minutes;
– the tide had crested at about 15 feet, the expectation was 12 feet
– Downtown Manhattan was under water
– Atlantic City and the entire Jersey Shore was devastated
– Brooklyn coastline was hit hard
– Out of control fire had claimed more than 100 houses in Breezy Point

Then the story moved to Staten Island.
Staten Island is the 5th Borough of NYC. It’s 5 miles from Manhattan on the Staten Island Ferry.
Most if not ALL Staten Islanders, think that we are the “forgotten” borough.
We have no sky scrapers; no financial district; no meat packing district; no fish market.
Staten Island is not Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or Da Bronx.
What we do have is a very diverse borough filled with hard working families, who often buck the voting trend of the overwhelming “Democratic” NYC.

Sandy had given us…..
– a tidal wave that had taken 4 houses out to sea, along with a father and his 13 year old daughter
– a mother that had tried to escape the storm, her car was immobilized by a huge wave and when she got out of the SUV with her 2 children aged 2 and 4, the next wave had ripped them away from her forever and ever
– a 28 year old off duty Cop who had got his entire family up to the attic, but then went looking for his dad and stepped into his flooded 1st floor, which had a live wire hidden from his view
– a father and son huddled together in their basement. Later found in a final embrace

Our power came back early morning on Wednesday. Every local TV channel was showing Staten Island. The devastation of the eastern side of the Island was incomprehensible.
Shocking images of neighborhoods that we all knew; that we had friends in; that I had coached and played soccer in.
In total 20 deaths. Each a tragedy. Each one with its own story. As the death toll rose, each death was told, and re-told by the media.

“…And me, I just got tired of hangin’ in them dusty arcades, bangin’ them pleasure machines
Chasin’ the factory girls underneath the boardwalk where they all promise to unsnap their jeans
And you know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach drag
I got on it last night and my shirt got caught
And they kept me spinning, babe, didn’t think I’d ever get off…”

Even though Springsteen wrote Sandy about the Jersey Shore, these words were sadly true about all places along the Eastern seaboard. Boardwalks were now gone and any rides had suddenly been swallowed by the sea.

However, it’s not just the landscape that has been changed forever.
Staten Island was no longer the Forgotten Borough. We were now in the spotlight. The world suddenly discovered that NYC actually did have 5 boroughs.

For me, I preferred it the other way…


Cruising for Bruising.

My comfort always assured
This floating hotel
Your latest gift
Wrapped ever so neatly
With 20 years
Of happiness and loneliness.

This suite
Regal if you will
Filled with beauty
As stewards run around like ants
Watched warily
By this Queen.

My thoughts drift again
Your position at this exact moment
Hardly Cirque du Soleil my dear!
But I still miss it, all the same.

A sharp sound interrupts
My scribbling mind
Loses its focus
Re-engaging is never easy for me
And an almost forgotten task awaits
I must answer the door.

You enter
My legs wobble
As I inhale sharply

Pushing that cart effortlessly
Dormant emotions ascend
Deft fingers move about the cart
  I exhale loudly
As you remove my dress

You move with ease,
Plates, cups, dishes, cutlery
Losing control
Rocking back and forth upon you
Never experiencing such pleasure

My dinner service complete, you step back
My emotions burst forth
Tears mixed with sweat
As I lay my head on your chest

You gently slide the chair out,
Beckon me to sit
Eyes locked
As you caress my soul.

As I sit and ponder
I cannot help but turn to watch you leave.
You linger a moment longer
And that smile
Tells me
Everything
Was
Real.


Enigma

Slicing through the waves
Seeing that distant shoreline
Open its arms to welcome
Like going home for tea.

The playful wind sees too
And turns away
Apathetically now
Like a spoiled child
Off in search of
A new toy.

Flag waving throng
Lines the quay
The marching band
Fills the air with ‘Pomp and Circumstance’.

Countless eyes
Darting,
Here, there and everywhere
Searching, longing to find
Recognition and
Love.

Many though stand back
There is no rush or excitement for them
Posture reveals
That their love is beneath them
A commitment made to each other
Lifelong
Never waivers
Never wanes
The perfect couple
Some may say.

All that is left
Spent confetti swirling
And each step echoes amid the silence
Like lovers meandering through the Pizza de Spagna
Around midnight.

One last look
Collar now turned up
As the wind returns
Both boisterous and noisy
Thinking you want to play!


Eternal Gift

You shine so brightly.
Guiding
Bringing home happiness
Relief and laughter.
People seek your favor
Their anticipation
Never halted
A sense of longing and want
So hard to touch
Feeling real
Both
Inside and out.
 
You are the way back
Into my world
Familiar faces,
Smiles and
Laughter.

Oh the joy.
You keep that key close
Intimate feelings once shared
By lovers
Now
Inside a closed locket
Each one believing
It is they you favor, 
It is they you smile upon
If only this one time.
 
Your gaze stretches out
Reaching gently for each one
That left you behind
As their journey began.
 
Some never come back
Miss feeling your warmth,
No longer safe wrapped tightly by your light.
Did they think of you in the end
As the inky blackness
Swallowed them
Or did their tears burn
Wishing they had waited
Just one more day.
Yearning for one more
Moonlit sky
Caress
Fingers stroking
Tongues gently searching
One moment of passion
Never to be felt again.

You cannot mourn or grieve
Anymore.

You have always been there
For each generation repeating
Solemn rituals
Yet you shed no tears.

Holding yourself above it all
Always being you.


Hide You In My Heart

Is the journey now complete?
Anytime I close my eyes
I am delivered.
Effortlessly.

Gliding past landscapes
Breathtaking
Beautiful.
People nod knowingly
Pointing
Waving
As I hurry on.

My own eagerness
Self-evident
Concentration
Focus
Unwavering.

Blink
Find myself staring out across the ocean
Breathing
Rhythmically
As the waves loudly announce their own arrival.
I feel the Angels all around
They exhale
Sun rising

It is everything to be alive
To know
That you are in my world today.
Fingers entwined
Gently touching
Sharing the moment.

Exploding colors across the sky
And for that one perfect moment
Your heart
Makes me smile
Makes me alive
Makes me there
Forever with you.

I promise myself
Never to let this journey end.
 
 


Hello

Watching.
My shallow breaths
Linger, longingly.
The moon watching as the waves
Wash o’er my nakedness
That familiar saltiness on my lips
Oh I how I love you.

Fingers dig deeper, feeling the wetness beneath me
Sand enveloping my body
Holding me, caressing me
Loving me.
Breathe.
Am I cleansed?

Rhythmic breakers
Cajoling me, back and forth
Whispers abound “Dig Deeper”.
Eyes focusing on the moonlit pixie’s as they dance
Drawing me in
Longing for this exact moment
Renewal.

Can this feeling last forever?
Future thoughts banished
Like uninvited guests at your sweet sixteen.

My nirvana broken by the barking dog
As the waves lap around her paws.
I watch as she runs in and out, testing the sea
Calling the Old Man, deep down in “Davey’s Locker”,
But he will not be drawn here tonight.

I find you as I leave
Alone in the sand.