The Atlantic in January

For Sanaa’s prompt on Real Toads – Get listed.  I have chosen these words for my poem: January. snow, wind, clouds, poems.  the optional words of my choice are mysterious, Atlantic, and lover.


The Atlantic in January
“There’s something wonderful about drinking in the afternoon. A not-too-cold pint, absolutely alone at the bar — even in this fake-ass Irish pub.” Anthony Bourdain

The winds blew the clouds about in the
January sky – like poems written on tissue paper.
Bits of sea foam snagged on the sand
and then were swept back into the ocean.
Snow fell slow and steady.
The grey Atlantic heaved to the shore and back again –
breathing like a sleeping lover –
chest up and chest down,
chest up and chest down.
The Atlantic in January is a mysterious thing.
Fifty shades of grey –
In the sky,
The sand,
The water,
The partial whelk shell holding firm in the sand
as the water washed over it.
The Atlantic in January is a mysterious thing.
It is the kiss of lovers,
The words written by a poet in her mind,
A glass of beer drunk in an empty bar
on a Tuesday afternoon.
I walk along its edge and wonder
at its quiet beauty –
the things hidden in its depths.
The Atlantic in January is a mysterious thing.

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. annell4
    Jan 03, 2019 @ 10:16:32

    A beautiful and thoughtful poem!!! I do not know the Atlantic in January….but would love to know that mysterious thing. You have given me insight to your knowing.


  2. sanaarizvi
    Jan 03, 2019 @ 11:40:32

    This is absolutely stunning, Toni ❤️I love how you describe the Atlantic as “the kiss of lovers/the words written by a poet in her mind,” and the fact that you chose to rise to the challenge by using optional words! 😀 Thank you so much for writing to the prompt. You made my day! ❤️


  3. coalblack
    Jan 03, 2019 @ 13:52:19

    I love your comparisons–the lover’s breathing, the afternoon bar–it all just comes to life in a January afternoon kind of way.

    And it is demonstrably non-goopy. 😉


  4. wildchild47
    Jan 03, 2019 @ 22:06:19

    breath in and out … slow pulse, rhythms eternal, the mystery of the sleeping face, in the grey in-between light – so much like the ocean in her ways – the different faces she wears, but eternal for the mysteries … and some depths should remain just as they are … simply for the mystical and divine –

    interesting ideas and metaphors, has a particular easy but slightly melancholic feel, like a rolling wave or sigh … pleasant and soothing and the repetition really anchors us in the moments as you’ve written them


  5. Cressida
    Jan 03, 2019 @ 23:24:48

    A beautiful poem. You have captured the grey mood of the Atlantic in January. Drinking in an empty bar on a weekday afternoon has a desolation about it…well chosen metaphor.


  6. oldegg
    Jan 04, 2019 @ 01:14:25

    What a delight this poem is and the picture of the winter sea now in charge with all the holiday makers gone is a beautful one.


  7. Sherry Marr
    Jan 04, 2019 @ 01:52:14

    I love this poem. The Pacific in January is a wild thing……..we just emerged from our first hurricane!


  8. kim881
    Jan 04, 2019 @ 04:51:20

    The imagery in this poem could equally apply to our coastline, Toni. I love the ‘poems written on tissue paper’ and ‘Bits of sea foam snagged on the sand’ – I know them well – and the sea ‘breathing like a sleeping lover’, as well as the ‘partial whelk shell holding firm in the sand’ and the poet drinking beer in an empty bar on a Tuesday afternoon. They are fine details in a big seascape.


  9. Jim
    Jan 05, 2019 @ 01:24:35

    I love to walk the New Hampshire beaches in the winter, every day, every hour, the scene is changing. You told that well and maybe even better the thoughts of the single nursing her drink, alone at the bar. She seems well versed in several areas, recalling the sleeping lover, contemplating his breathing is very revealing and attention getting.


  10. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jan 05, 2019 @ 11:16:10

    The sea in winter is such a special matter…. something alive and yet ominous…
    like a lover or that image of the beer…. very nice poeming


  11. Kerry
    Jan 05, 2019 @ 13:18:03

    This is such a beautiful poem. I think it is my new favourite of yours. The mood is so subtle and the description paints an unforgettable scene.


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 05, 2019 @ 13:37:07

      Thank you so very much Kerry. I am a huge fan of the Atlantic in the winter, as you can tell. Here is a sense of solitude one cannot feel there in the summer.

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  12. Helen
    Jan 05, 2019 @ 18:06:45

    You have painted a beautiful image of the Atlantic in January with words. I love it every month of the year!


  13. Brendan
    Jan 06, 2019 @ 17:08:23

    I love the sea in winter, it looks like home. Drinking by the sea — well, that’s another life, but been there done that, too.


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 06, 2019 @ 17:57:18

      The ocean does look like home. I used to drink on a lonely afternoon inside a bar where the bartender and I were the only ones there. Even in my wild days when I drank and did way too many drugs, a couple of shots or a beer was enough for me. Drinking in the ocean air was all I needed to make me dizzy!


  14. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Jan 07, 2019 @ 15:27:04

    you absolutely wrote to my heart – I LOVE the “winter beach” as we call it – solitary, lovely, whispers… I adore it and you gave a number of reasons why right here in this gem of a poem!


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