The ocean rises.

Fossil bone, a maiden’s cliff
throwing ghosts in the stalactites
there, my ocean is there, and I will die with the thorn in my side;
abyssal shadows are empty, sandstone splits at my cheek,
look at the full-bodied ocean, their fish bones below
the memorial, from so close, I can stand upon the ocean’s bosom,
her white waves upon my fingers
O’ death can make them primitive to infancy—
caving inside the womb, the knot which spreads
across my chest, the umbilicus of our ghosts
like desert sands into the undressing throat
in the frost; if you undress me, this dance has nothing left
the needing none more than a folly from nature,
it dispels its whispers to the mocking bird
bleeding at its neck, which oft turned away
from lips beneath the congeries
avoiding the sea in spindrift edge,
as half-forgotten stones link to the caitiff of hibernations,
we need no more to say as we fall to the black thorns
for other worlds will be our last cankered dark
I will die in the abyssal
Before you, the ocean rises; I sought the tides.

© 2020 lucysworks.com All Rights Reserved.

Written for the dVerse prompt: Write a poem using the word folly in it.

As you can see, I’m quite the romantic.


  57 comments for “The ocean rises.

  1. October 27, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Smoldering and intense! “the umbilicus of our ghosts” and “the needing none more than a folly from nature” are my two favorite lines.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. October 27, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Wonderfully evocative and suggestive, I especially like ‘if you undress me, this dance has nothing left’ — a bit of seven veils stuff here, perhaps. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 27, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you dearly, Milly. ❤

      Like

  3. sanaarizvi
    October 27, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    This is deliciously dark and enthralling, Lucy! I love; “I can stand upon the ocean’s bosom,
    her white waves upon my fingers/O’ death can make them primitive to infancy.” 💝

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 27, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you very much, Sanaa.

      Like

  4. October 27, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Ah, you went with the romance of the ocean, Lucy! I love that you made her female in the lines:
    ‘look at the full-bodied ocean
    … I can stand upon the ocean’s bosom,
    her white waves upon my fingers’
    and the birth imagery in:
    ‘caving inside the womb, the knot which spreads
    across my chest, the umbilicus of our ghosts’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 27, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      I really did. A dark ending in the romance, but a romance nevertheless. Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Chretien Martinez
    October 27, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. October 27, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    I love this romance… I can almost feel that you were touched by the illicit affair and the romance that resulted in the folly of the prompt… the sea is so present so I can almost imagine that the mistress is the sea here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 27, 2020 at 4:48 pm

      I was indeed impacted by the rumored affair between the Earl-Bishop and Frideswide. Thank you so much for the lovely comment.

      Like

  7. October 27, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Love is like an ocean…in ghosts, in waves, in our bones. Powerful, Lucy.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. October 27, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    Like being in her mind, understanding her thoughts of all that awaits as she stands at the edge, and waiting for that final step.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 27, 2020 at 5:19 pm

      Yes! That is exactly the meaning of this poem. Thank you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Glenn A. Buttkus
    October 27, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Death at 22, dark and delicious, illicit love, mantled in lust can be thorny. Your path to the prompt is still (wonderfully) or (wonderfolly) uniquely You, cajoled and caressed into widow’s weeds, and a wife’s fury, whereupon a love temple became a sad and foolish monolith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 27, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you so very much!

      Like

  10. October 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Lucy,
    That she is so caught in the toils of love to such an extent, that even sure death cannot defeat it, is wonderfully conveyed here. I love this phrase: “spindrift edge.” Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. October 27, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    As the oceans carve fossils from the dunes … so will be out fate!! Well done Lucy!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. October 27, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    kaykuala
    their fish bones below the memorial,
    from so close, I can stand upon the ocean’s bosom,
    her white waves upon my fingers

    Great wordcraft Lucy. The above resonates with Hank. The folly of it all. Love it!

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 27, 2020 at 10:16 pm

      Thank you so much. 🙂

      Like

  13. October 27, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    Two thumbs up, WAY up

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 27, 2020 at 10:16 pm

      Thank you! 😀

      Like

  14. October 27, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    “if you undress me, this dance has nothing left”
    I feel like this poem is capturing the end game of this love affair. The ocean takes everything and your words are beautifully haunting as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 27, 2020 at 10:17 pm

      Yes! Thank you so very much, Tricia. ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. October 28, 2020 at 12:00 am

    an intense romance … not sure if it’s the young one or his monument to her about to fall into that ocean. An ultimate end to any romance, and the start of an even greater fantasy of what might have been …

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 28, 2020 at 12:20 am

      Thank you so much! I wrote with both of them in mind, but mainly with the rumored romance between the Earl-Bishop and Frideswide. Added with the temple so close to the edge, I thought it symbolized quite greatly how intense infatuation can be. With the illicit affair, it was destined to end from the start, but it ultimately ended in the young woman’s death.

      Liked by 1 person

      • October 28, 2020 at 12:46 am

        yes such a tragedy, well written Lucy!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. October 28, 2020 at 2:57 am

    Darkly, deliciously romantic – romancing death itself!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. October 28, 2020 at 5:05 am

    This was a more satisfying read to me than some of your poems because it has a thread of meaning running through it that corresponds to the atmosphere. The very jagged and savage imagery is exactly right for crashing waves on cliffs and violent death.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. October 28, 2020 at 7:12 am

    I see the ghosts like mirrored shadows–perfect for a raging sea of emotions. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. October 28, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    Love the title (would like to borrow it) and the undress verse most. Very good poem to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 28, 2020 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you so much. I’m really glad to hear that! Feel free to use the title. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • October 28, 2020 at 2:48 pm

        Thanks a lot 🙂 and I wanted to add : what an opening…

        Liked by 1 person

      • October 28, 2020 at 5:12 pm

        Like

  20. October 29, 2020 at 1:43 am

    Oh, your work always blows me away, Lucy! So much rich and romantic imagery. Ocean love is my favorite 🌊💙 Truly a delight to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. November 12, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Beautiful Lucy, intense love..

    Liked by 1 person

  22. November 16, 2020 at 1:38 am

    Love the umbilicus of our ghosts and the undressing throat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 16, 2020 at 1:47 am

      Thank you! Glad you liked those lines.

      Like

  23. TJ
    November 16, 2020 at 5:21 am

    This is amazing. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. November 16, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Wow amazing choice of words. Loved it 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  25. November 17, 2020 at 12:14 am

    Absolutely stunning. It is filled with wordy language, yet doesn’t come off as pretentious. It flows like a river of thought. Like if Kerouac and Emily Dickinson somehow made a baby. ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

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