Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Obsess About Loss

Pour meted words
of sea-hawks and gulls
and sea-birds that cry

—Hilda Doolittle

I return to the sea,
taste salt sorrow carried on the wind and
charge the water with nervous abandon.
I obsess about loss.

Do you remember collecting anemones,
eating fried shrimp and salty fries,
losing yourself in the silence of flat waves?
I return to the sea.

Will you meet me at the water's edge?
Will you empty your pockets,
drown the past or will you
taste salt sorrow carried on the wind?

I watch sandpipers leave footprints
in wet sand and write you a letter with my toe.
High tide erases my words and I
charge the water with nervous abandon.

This drought of words.
This glacial space
leaves a steep crevasse.
I obsess about loss.

Linda Watskin ©2010

We Write Poems


  1. I find this poem very haunting. The sea imagery is very effective in giving the feeling of loss, reflected in the erasure of words by high tide. This is good work, Linda.--Irene

  2. "charge the water with nervous abandon" is a great line - I like how it works in both stanzas. A nice cascade poem, that works really well with obsession as a theme. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Linda- This piece is incredibly beautiful. I am impressed. I love the repetition of "I return to the sea." And then the end, "I obsess about loss." Well written. You did amazing work with this wordle! Wow.

  4. Linda, you put a lot of depth into this wordle. You created well a melancholy, thoughtful, nostalgic mood.

  5. Love the sea image, very haunting

  6. Fine pairing of form and material.
    and the wordle disappears, which is even better.
    (it may be my problem, from watching too many CSI-type tv shows, but are you suggesting suicide with "empty your pockets", "drown" and "sorrow"?)

  7. No. The I if the poem is asking the other if they are willing to let go ( empty your pockets of the past) or will they continue to taste salt ( perhaps if tears).

    One look at it's question of is one willing to forgive?

    Linda frances

  8. high praise for this.... this outpouring of heart felt meted words floating out to the seven seas on a tide to distance shores

  9. There are three things that strike me about this poem: 1) your repetition of certain phrases ("taste salt sorrow carried on the wind", "I return to the sea", "I obsess about loss"), 2) your imagery and metaphor -- how you weave memory, melancholy, and loss into them throughout the poem (for example, this stanza in particular: "Will you meet me at the water's edge?/ Will you empty your pockets,/drown the past or will you /taste salt sorrow carried on the wind?"), and 3) the construction of the poem, which allows it to both flow like water and stop and break like waves -- mostly you're doing this with your line breaks. Gorgeous poem.