The House By The Sea

house by the sea

After the flames, it lingers. A Stone

skeleton of columns and floors

topiaried in ash. In the doorway,

California kneels —

 

a sandpiper on her shoulder, her hair

bound with vine leaves

and her hands clasped together

trembling.

 

In them,

the motion of horses running

from field to field. Their manes

a quivering fire of silk and sweat

 

while below

the splintered wood of Ventura’s pier

vibrates, smelling of salt and seaweed

sensing like the whiskers of a seal

changes in the wind and tides,

the red blaze

of Dante’s inferno.

____________________________________

Note — Ventura is the small town that lies on the outskirts of  Santa Barbara in Southern California. It is a coastal town and has a beautiful, long pier stretching into the sea. This town as well as Santa Barbara was badly burned in the recent fires and now suffering from the mudslides caused by recent rains and flooding. The area is also known for its old mission, some horse ranches and wineries.

3 comments

  1. Wendy,

    I felt this one to the very core!

    I have read this three times and still can not read it with dry eyes.

    There is tragedy in these lines, and yet the poetry is so fine, I can
    not help but celebrate this poem.

    You never disappoint. Thank you!

    Sarah

    Like

  2. The images bring the reader there.
    The sense of smell, especially,
    comes alive when reading the poem.

    “California kneels”

    made me think of the humbling effect
    that comes with experiences like this.

    I can imagine the innocent little Sandpiper bird
    on her shoulder, the image of horses running.

    Much enjoyed reading.
    take care,
    Kerri

    Like

  3. Dear Sarah and Kerri

    Thank you both so much for reading and commenting on this poem!! I am deeply touched by your comments and support. IT means a great deal to me!!

    So again, thank you so much!
    My best to you both!
    Wendy

    Like

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