dry ocean - Suzanne S. Eaton

it had to be filled with water in the early years

the ocean left its ridge marks on every bluff

and reached into each valley with a cutting wire


as I drive northwest, I see hills cut neatly

and compressed with a vast clay potter’s trowel

larger rows behind and smaller rifts in the foreground


I see red rock “waves” with sand-crested froth

that imitate the great oceans on every side

but these canyons are cragged by winds and time


where is nature’s great banding wheel, chipping slab,

sculpting tools, and ribs that so masterfully shaped

these breaking waves of rock, wild grass, and sage?


land is carved and hollowed out as if a skilled hand

held the modeling tools and delighted in caressing

small hills, buffing them smooth with sponge or shami


I am inland; there is no water to push and shape

no oceanside to quench, refresh, and texturize the

shale cliffs that overhang to fake almost-bursting waves


there is silence when I stop to hear the ocean

though it once had to be here--it is many centuries past

the birds above are not seagulls, yet they caw


no water rushes to clear the heat of the sun from my skin

and I am given to understand the drought of separation

you were my ocean, and I am inland

Suzanne S. Eaton is an author and marketing consultant. She has written many corporate stories and magazines. Most recently, Writer Shed Stories, Seaborne Magazine, The Purpled Nail, The Silent World in Her Vase (TSWHV), Scarlet Leaf Review, Rue Scribe, eris & eros, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, The Elevation Review, The Write Launch, Dreamers, Poet’s Choice, and The Poet Magazine have selected her work for publication.

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