OSI: “ocean”

cbbeach Click Flickr pic for source

Getting Ducked

I remember, whipping off

our sweaty clothes so fast

wriggling into taut swimsuits

salt-faded from the past.

Down, down, to the ocean went we…

our childish laughter…

floating out…to sea…

Tripping, tumbling down the bank

with just one goal to reach

grazed up knees and elbows

wouldn’t keep us from that beach.

“You go first!”, “No, you!” we’d yell.

“It’s too cold!!!!”

(Our fears we’d have to quell.)

Rolling tides on sun-baked shore,

we dipped our toes and screeched;

ankles, calves, then knobby knees–

Atlantic depths were breached.

“Hen, rooster, chicken…duck!” above the din,

of warming winds— then we were in.

Summers that we dove and dove

through rushing wake and wave

plunging from the wharf of stone

we fancied ourselves brave.

Down, down, to the ocean went we…

our childish laughter…


to sea.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2008

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42 thoughts on “OSI: “ocean”

  1. John is writing about moving to the ocean, you're writing about jumping into it and my daughter is lying on the edge of it with a bunch of friends. Must be summer.


  2. This is a beautiful elegy to childhood. I love it. I remember those days. Those stiff, faded swimsuits! They stood by themselves by summer's end! And the fun of taking that plunge. I can taste the salt as I read this. Childhood flies swiftly by.


  3. Hi Kat, I like this sweet and simple little poem. Your recollections of childhood thoughts and feelings are merged very well into action memories.I read your comment here to Mairi. Until seeing that I had thought you had already put that 'fat kat muse' back to work very soon after her holiday! :-)..


  4. I grew up just a five minute walk from Camps Bay beach and a lot of rocky coves along the seafront. One could take one's pick of where to camp out and swim all afternoon in the freezing Atlantic under the hot sun. (There is something of John Masefield's rhythm in your poem!)


  5. So vibrant and alive; reflective of the child's spirit you capture so beautifully, Kat!And you're right, a needed respit we all need!p.s. I wanted to thank you for your heartfelt comment on The Tribute. I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted it. If you've got the time, The Aclinic Line is up.


  6. Hello Kat,I love this poem and the photo!I just came back from the ocean and it was so pretty.I also had to stop into the local shell shop to pick up a pretty starfish and a huge sand dollar for my livingroom mantle.Have a nice day!Lydia


  7. So good to remember times like that. I can see that happening here the water off the Maine coast is cold all summer.A very pleasant read.


  8. You ignited these memories… insulated bags toting precious cargo, 3 subways and one bus to Golden Beach, the peppermint twist, you know it goes like this; sand between the toes and crunch in the sandwich and the rush of skinny bird legs hurtling into the waves.Thank you for reviving this summer delight.


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