James Piatt – Wintertime Shore – 5

Wintertime Shore
by James Piatt

“Dragon” by Sandy Coomer

“Dragon” by Sandy Coomer

I hear the ocean’s cold roaring waves,
grumbling, as the tide’s foaming whiteness
breaks raucously upon the dark onyx painted
rocks that form the cliffs, which climb up
from the cold sand. 

As I look up high in the sky, I see dark and
tempestuous clouds with thorns of lightning
streaking towards the earth in uncontrolled

Small creatures and shore birds have long
abandoned the wind blow shore, when the
wind gusts dug into the mounds of kelp
blowing them high into the air. 

I hold fast to my jacket trying to keep
warmth in my flesh and bones as I plod
down the sand towards clumps of twisted
pieces of wood, and debris from downed
ships. They were probably brought up by
ghosts from the deeps, and tumbled into the
rumbling tide where people like me can
observe and wonder about their origin, and
the reasons for their twisted shapes. 

There is a mysterious rhythm to a wintry
beach as gales tear at the sand and my ocean
memories. It is an eerie ebony colored pulse
that causes me to wonder about life and
death, and the mortal gap in between, which
is where the sewed pieces of my existence
and the torn pages of my life, are contained.


James, a retired professor and octogenarian, is the author of four collections of poetry, “Solace Between the Lines,” (2019), “Light” (2016), “Ancient Rhythms,” (2014),” and “The Silent Pond,” (2012). He has also had over 1,400 poems (four of which were nominated for Pushcart and Best of Web Awards), five novels, seven essays, and thirty-five short stories published. He earned his BS and MA from California State Polytechnic University, and his doctorate from BYU. 

About the visual artist: Sandy Coomer is an artist and poet living in Brentwood, TN. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and she is the author of three poetry chapbooks and a full-length collection, Available Light (Iris Press). Her art has been featured in local art shows and exhibits, and over 150 pieces have been published in journals such as Lunch Ticket, Gravel, The Wire’s Dream Magazine, and Up the Staircase. Sandy is the director of Rockvale Writers’ Colony in College Grove, TN. She is a teacher, a dreamer, a seeker, and an explorer. Her favorite word is “Believe.” Learn more about her at www.sandycoomer.com.