Balm for the Soul

In these troubled times I’ve been finding solace at the beach.

At the beach

hours ago
I stood
feet braced
in shifting sand
buffeted by the wind
marveling at collaged clouds
and feeling the growing light
like a pulse
prickling my skin
Westerly gusts
sent currents
of fine, dry sand
streaming over wet
I walked as if within
a flowing hourglass
bent into the wind,
breaking dawn
with the turbulent sea.

Now as the final sands
of this day slip by
I sit at my desk
casting back
to the beach
still feeling the push
and pull
of the wind
hearing the echo
of the churning surf
tugged outward
by moon’s invisible lure
as surely as I
am pulled toward
that tumultuous shore
time and time again

©Molly Hogan

Like so many others, I was transfixed listening to Amanda Gorman recite her poem, “The Hill We Climb”, at Wednesday’s Inauguration. I’ve listened to it again and again. With my classes. With my family. By myself. Every time I discover something new. So many have already said it, but what an amazing young woman! She gives me hope.

The day after the inauguration, the sunrise was especially stunning. I thought immediately, “Ahhhh. This must be the new dawn blooming.”

Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Laura Shovan at her blog. She’s sharing information about her February Poetry Project with the theme of “Bodies.” I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of this group for several years now and am looking forward to participating again. Laura is opening up the project by sharing prompts on her blog this year, too. Check it out!

24 thoughts on “Balm for the Soul

  1. Mitchell Linda says:

    Molly, I love this poem….that you are the hourglass. That you are pulled back to the tides that create the sand that fills it. A beautiful poem. And, that sunrise! WOWSA! You are an amazing woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The push and pull of your poem, Molly, and that gorgeous sunrise. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It came out well–I like how you put yourself into the hourglass, and it makes me think that we all, all of us together and each of us individually, have cycles of full and empty, we run this way and then that way as time turns us over and over again. I feel full right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. margaretsmn says:

    There’s a peaceful rhythm to this lovely poem as well as that knowledge that it’s impermanent even as you write it. Your photos are inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      The beach always grounds me. It’s funny because I didn’t used to be a “beach person” and I’m still not in the traditional go, hang out, lie in the sand way. But I feel the lure of the beach at dawn or in the late afternoon/evening so strongly these days.


  5. laurashovan222 says:

    Those collaged clouds caught my eye, Molly. I miss living close to the beach and the ocean. Sometimes, I visit there is necessary for recharging spent batteries. See you in the Feb. group!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your poem, too, is a balm, Molly. Reading it, I was there with you. Here’s to many more stunning sunrises in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tabatha says:

    I like your “I walked as if within/a flowing hourglass/bent into the wind,” and Heidi’s comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sally Murphy says:

    Just beautiful Molly. I love ‘marveling at collaged clouds” but also the idea that you are there in the north and I am waaay down south, both finding comfort in our beaches.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. maryleehahn says:

    The pull towards the turbulent, the tumultuous will be what moves us towards healing.

    Thank you for your amazing words and images! You inspire me!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lindabaie says:

    “breaking dawn/with the turbulent sea” holds those feelings I had at the end of Wednesday, Molly. Your poem is a wonderful marker of that day.I saw your sunset on FB, what a treasure of a picture – yes, looks like hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kay Mcgriff says:

    Just beautiful–both poem and photos. As I read your poem, I kept thinking how the political winds of the past few years have pushed and pulled us, but we keep turning toward the shore.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. cvarsalona says:

    There is no doubt that the sea, beach, and sand are balm for the soul during turbulent times and a place of peace during tranquil ones. Your poem swept me into the waves, the many times I have stood watching. Great job as a truly reflective piece! I am in awe of your sunrise photo. If you write a new dawn blooming poem to accompany it and would like to share it at my #WintersEmbrace2021 Gallery, I would gladly add it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Stunning photography. Amanda Gorman’s poem is this week’s Wednesday quote of the week for my blog. I look forward to the seeing the trajectory of her career. She reminds me of Richard Blanco, who spoke at Obama’s inauguration as poet laureate. Hannah and I saw him in Portland speak at Merrill Auditorium. Powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

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