Ocean Poetry

Written for those who live and work on the ocean, this poetry collection is also for all who love and enjoy visiting seashores, fishing, and beach romances. Poems are often written from personal experiences or inspiration of cresting waves and stormy seas, whether visiting windswept Assateague Island or spruce-clad Maine islands. Please consider making donation to Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation.


  • 1318. Maine, Sea Dreams
    Awakening from dreams, I did not know when Or where I was, painted seashores, romance, Younger woman, single kiss before we parted, Perplexed by contradictions, life spiraling Beyond our control. […]
  • 1315. Maine Solitary Life
    Warming days on Maine foreshores, my face Wind-sun burnished, dark sea remains cold. No peace exists between surf and stone, Continual strife and turbulence reflect my Solitary life and feelings, […]
  • 1306. Times Remembered
    We longed for freedoms and tangles we Both knew, simple pleasures, emotional Complexities, embracing without fear Or concern. Casual walks along island Cliffs and meandering trails, rock and Ferns. How […]
  • 1283. Which Quiet Are You?
    Which quiet are you? Contemplating sentient Life in stars of multiple hues? Or in reticent solitude, Wiping night tears away? Oft, no nether realm exists, Terra firm or nebulae, sailing […]
  • 1279. Realities of Romance
    Realities of romance, different time zones. It’s 10 pm for you, 2 am for me. Yes, I was Asleep (restlessly) or awake (barely), ever Concerned for you, how difficult Arctic […]
  • 1262. Fundy Island Weather
    Islanders, we lived on shores of dark waters, Chilly in summertime, cloud-shrouded days, Passing rain, mists night-rising, few days we Felt sun-warmth. Sweatshirt clad visitors asked, “Is it always like […]
  • 1260. Migratory Urges
    How do we know where we belong? Was it Destined from birth or lies latent in DNA? Couple from St. Lawrence Seaway drove Twelve hours to stay at Virginia Assateague […]
  • 1220. Willow, Mystical Ocean
    “How far and wide is the ocean?” I asked Papa, strong-backed net-man, fishing our Livelihood. Patient pipe puffs, he replied, “Westward reaching cold depths, Willow, Beyond sight and touch.” Doubtful […]
  • 1216. Willow and Brygidt
    Ocean reflecting clouds, fishing boats sails Reefed, Papa and I working nets, wet-heavy Weight, peering deep into still water. “You May see another face,” Papa said, “another Fairy-self, lifetimes past, […]
  • 1211. Willow, Island Reflections
    Is it possible to see beyond one’s self? Beyond this austere island life? I have Peered into reflecting pools, my face Shimmering in sunlight. Who is that Person staring back […]
  • 1210. Stirabout and Starlight
    Before dawn, mother liked stream-fresh Water, not bucket-sitting for stirabout or Tea. “Needs to be fresh, Willow,” she said Eye-rubbing, sleepy in my bed. Shoes sans Socks, lantern light, chilly […]
  • 1209. Wooden Mail-Boats
    Prayers and faith, Bible verse remembered, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you Will find it after many days.”* Such were our Tiny wooden mail-boats, no larger than loaf […]
  • 1208. Willow, Pushing East
    How does one escape nothingness? Island Wasteland, dying community, abandoned Stone cottages, endless chores, footpaths Rising into fog-shrouded rocky heights, Sunless perpetual chill, distant sheep bells. Am I the only […]
  • 1206. Willow and Ríonach
    Shipwreck winds night-howling, half-moon Eclipsed by storm clouds, sailing ship-mast Broken, against cliff rocks splintering, death On western Irish isles. Next morn, lifeless Passengers washed up Scottish shores, Bodies pale […]
  • 1205. Fishing Nets, Island Sheep
    “Fishing nets begin with island sheep and You, Willow,” Papa said, unfathomed mental Connections, roaming flocks, deep-running Schools of flip-flopping fish, warm wool Gathering, spinning taught string, twisting- Turning spindles, […]
  • 1199. Obscuring Blue Haze
    What lies beyond obscuring blue haze, Dark-cresting waves? Desolate islands, Edge of world, sea-jutting cliffs, hard- Headlands I call home, accents thick, Sing-song, turn-of-phrase, no one but Islanders understand. Impatient […]
  • 1188. Fundy Passage
    Winter cold lingered over Fundy Bay, Stillness before storm, ominous signs, Reading seabirds, snow-filled clouds, Nothing on radar except far-distant Isles, sweeping reflections of piled Stone slabs. We pushed south […]
  • 1183. Surging Depths
    Churning dark waters, white caps Rolling, Bay of Fundy changing Tides, extremes highs and lows, Briny doors unbarred, we rode Surging depths, invisible might Of ebb and flow. Tugging on […]
  • 1181. Cool Fresh Air
    Sweaty hiking trails on Grand Manan, July heat extended to Far-north Restigouche. Bay of Fundy mist, cold water rising, Clifftops lingering, refreshing Breaths of cool fresh air.  Last July (2018) Grand Manan […]
  • 1180. Winter Desolate Beach
    Too cold for darting seabirds, Opalescent dawn, winter desolate Beach, hard-frozen dark sand, Gusting winds, below zero wind Chills, ice-forming layered surf. Thanks for reading.
  • 1179. All-Night Waterfall
    Visitor from New Brunswick mainland, not Used to sea swells, crossing Bay of Fundy During hard gale, landed on the island, could Not sleep for all-night waterfall. “Where is It?” […]
  • 1171. Winter Ocean Forest
    Fog-shrouded buoy bells, feathered sky Ocean forests, rain turned sleet, first Snowfall, descending winds, face, fingers Chilled, hiking trail taken dozen times, Disappearing, white, foreboding, winding Course lost. Concern replaced […]
  • 1161. Assateague Island Shore
    Secrets and mysteries of this island shore Must be experienced, not explained, frosty Morns, steaming breath, splendor of winter Sunrise, pastel skies, setting sun, cacophony Of calling seabirds, beach sleeping, […]
  • 1144. Bay of Fundy Mist
    From clifftops, what do I see peering onto Bay of Fundy mist? What does my radar Sense? Dangers ahead measured in nautical Miles, day or weeks, lifetime of chance taking […]
  • 1142. Shifting Gears for Fall
    One day should not make a difference, But it does, October morning, frost last Night, slick boat docks and decks, Minute less of daylight along Maine Islands. Hard push begins, […]
  • 1125. Persistent Grey Morning
    Winter on Fundy islands, grey skies, grey Water, the “R” months of self-hibernation, September to February. As islanders, ocean Protects from bitter cold, most heavy snows, Slushy parking lots, along […]
  • 1124. Contemplating Island Life
    Contemplating island life, guiding tides and Currents, family generations, cedar-shake Houses built overlooking spruce-clad rocky Heights, our own island school, prosperity, Growth, fishing, lobstering, mending herring Nets, boats dockside, crates […]
  • 1122. Familiar Face and Voice
    Familiar face and voice are gone, elderly Woman I oft waved to whilst walking, Nightgown, slippers, older sea-breeze House, shaded covered porch, cool place Reading magazines, newspapers, her Two cats […]
  • 1119. Wind and Waves
    When old friends reappear, what does It mean? Old memories resurrected, More oft left alone, unmentioned. We have changed, I’m not the same, Time and life exacting their salty Toll. […]
  • 1107. Summer Heat
    Summer heat suffering, doctor says stay Indoors, drink plenty of fluids, avoid Jungle-like forests, ticks and mayflies. Early morning walks permitted, no More than one mile. How I miss cold […]
  • 1098. Ocean Called Me
    Beneath transparent sphere, Ocean called me, briny depths, White-cresting waves, currents, Winds, cold sea spray, life Renewed, place of belonging, Then and now. L’océan m’a Appelé Sous la sphère transparente, […]
  • 1081. Old Sea Captains
    Old sea captains are disappearing, not By death, but by more deleterious means, They wake up one morning, and who And what they were is gone, and in Its place […]
  • 1047. Higher Love
    Finally, you are asleep, heating pad draped Across your hip, another difficult night, Hot bath, single pain pill, 10 prescribed For 30 days, deep, rhythmic breathing in Night darkness. As […]
  • 1018. Maine Winter Solstice
    Maine winter lobstering, everything is tedious, Approaching solstice takes thin slices of time, Daylight, and temperature, shorter, colder days, Decisions harder, traps deeper, 60 fathom, Further from shore, depths good […]
  • 994. Barrier Island Beach-Grass
    How long will beach-grass survive on Storm-desolated barrier island shores? Through winter, next years to come? Prospects appear dismal, supporting Sand eroding, roots exposed, clumps Of grass, sand dunes washed […]
  • 987. Cloud-Streaked Winter Skies
    Maine winter mornings, south-rising Sun, cloud-streaked light, straining Warmth, after coffee, chill remains on Frozen decks, navigating ice formed this Week, thin crust of snow, sloshing pans, Separating, turning, lobster […]
  • 971. Maglanda, Ancestral Mother, Part 3
    Part 3: Mariya’s Escape (Last) By night flames, elder-man of joined clans Beckoned me, face cloak-hood concealed, Hushed words at nearby standing stones. Grey eyes and beard, he whispered, “Your […]
  • 970. Maglanda, Ancestral Mother, Part 2
    Part 2: Mariya, Warrior-Princess Mountain passes we ascended, narrow paths, Arm’s-reach wide, above us sheer walls, below Death loomed, depths cloud-obscured. As Feared,  elders of our tribes died climbing Rocky […]
  • 969. Maglanda, Ancestral Mother, Part 1
    Part 1: Seaward Migration “Who will come? Far-traveler asked, mid-age Man, left clans westward bound, two full Moons, blessing of standing stones. “Seas Are rising, ice-walls retreated.” Even as girl- […]
  • 968. Teagan, Island Shepherdess
    “Dying way of life, Teagan,” Papa said, hard Words for Irish girl to accept, shepherding On remote isle, misty isolation, ocean-riding Boat, dark waves cresting, cold spray, why We knitted […]
  • 961. Steadying Touch
    When you are gone, immeasurable sea Exists between us, not knowing when Or where. Bright daylight, world busy Round me, I understand why you leave, Parting ways, ship plowing waves, […]
  • 905. Backyard Birds and Beer
    Quiet evening with backyard birds, Ocean shore, cloudy overcast, enough Breeze to fend mosquitoes, friends Over, lawn chairs and cold beer, birds Visit feeders, toothpick bites of peanut Butter, gobs […]
  • 903. Waterman and His Cat
    When asked, old waterman denied the Cat was his, big stray orange tabby, Known around fishing boat docks as The “Bad Old Man,” bloody ear, nose Raw from fighting, ranging […]
  • 898. Lobster Boat Sternman
    Wind-swaying trees, rain down-pouring, Surf upon Maine island rocks, these things I had forgotten, yet they were ingrained Upon my heart. This blustery morn, I’m Ferry passenger from Stonington to […]
  • 897. Grand Manan Fog
    Edge of heavy rain, ocean approaching, Island sweeping, downpours on Fundy Bay. Morning on Dark Harbour, skiff Ready, misty clouds moved in. Grand Manan makes its own weather, clear And […]
  • 896. Bluebirds Nesting
    Bluebirds nesting in backyard, My birding is complete, shining Luminescent in morning ocean sun. Nesting in our birdhouse, family effort, varnished, cleaned, mounted Not too high or low, not in […]
  • 882. Wrens in Ivy Singing
    Wrens in ivy singing, affirmation of spring, nest Or food seeking, lost in new leaves fresh-green, Vines winter dormant sprout, grow. Afternoon Warming sun, days longer, brighter, yet thin ice Forms on […]
  • 869. Sleeping with Seagulls
    Twilight moments between dusk and night, Sun lingering below horizon, transparent Light, two realms merged, corporeal and Spirit, existing, walking in same plane, Shadowed forms, moving vapors, invisible Made whole, […]
  • 858. Papa Wren Returns
    Warm, sunny March days, papa Wren Returns to seashores, says, “It’s time, Build new nests, maybe two or three.” Then it turns cold again, blustery skiff Of snow, he says, […]
  • 832. Comfort of Clouds
    As I say these words out-loud, they take on Meaning, pronouncement of sky and earth, Sprinkles of rain, fleeting shadows across Open fields, companions lofty, mercurial, Colourful, more than grey, […]
  • 826. Walk on Winter Beach
    In warmth of afternoon sun, Megan is Solider home from Afghanistan, petite, War-wounded, concealing flesh, personal Scars. Silence breaking, her first words Were, “I’m afraid to look.” Not of dying […]
  • 780. Frosty Morning Walk
    Few moments on seashores, waving ocean Grass and oyster shells, I went for brisk November walk along quiet farmland roads. Flanked by stately pines, tops burnished With fiery morning light, […]
  • 777. Morning Lighthouse Walk
    Morning walk before daylight, long straight Stretches of South Lubec Road, quiet eastern Corner of Maine, outshining familiar stars, Bright full moon cast shadows as I stride Towards Quoddy Head […]
  • 776. Endings and Beginnings
    Saying round these boat docks, “things end Much the way they began,” applies to men And boats, these days, women, too, faith And matrimony, skipper to boat, plowing Dark waves […]
  • 766. Maine October Gale
    Maine sun has no warmth, north side of The house, shaded island hills, thick forest Stands, all remain night cold, worsened By October ocean gale, wind whipping From the gulf, […]
  • 758. Maine Birdwatching
    Artic travelers arrived in flocks, migrating South, resting, eating, gathering collective Strength on Maine rocky shorelines and Secluded island beaches. At first light, we Were awakened by cacophony of birds, […]
  • 756. Foggy Gulf of Maine
    Wheelhouse windows mist streaked, I Made solemn statement, “I have never Been lost.” This was different. We had all Seen things, mysterious lights, distant Ships appearing above sea waves, early […]
  • 708. Maine Tides
    River meeting incoming tide, liquid forces Opposed, gravitational influence of moon, Six-foot surge of seawater pushing from Gulf of Maine, sweeping past outlying Islands, into low rivers, across expanse Of rocky […]
  • 706. Maine, My Home
    By Maine’s rocky hills and shores, I found Home, farms and fields wrested from rolling Land, hand-cleared determination, promises Of seed-sown tilled earth, family homesteads. At first light, lobster-boat rumble […]
  • 705. Island Forest Spirit
    Ocean island forests, trails rising into Misty cloud, descending to music of Rocky streams, cascading waterfalls, Trekking round ridges, communing With stately birches, delicate ferns, To rest near, drink from […]
  • 704. Ocean Island Home
    When do ocean islands become home? Heart-tugging question, ferry passage, Black Harbour to Grand Manan. Others Like myself stirring morning coffee, Sing-song Atlantic Canada accents, Moments for ears to adjust, […]
  • 703. Bay of Fundy Finback
    Sunrise on Bay of Fundy, Canadian island, Rocky lighthouse shore, fluke breaches, Finback surfaces, spouting breath of air. Quiet interceding moments until music rose Again, upward thrust of mist, bay […]
  • 693. Whispers Lost
    I have secrets and no one to tell, Except the ocean and clouds. At Times, I tell darting seagulls; they Laugh and steal my lunch. I tell Stands of seagrass. […]
  • 691. We Merged
    Such heights we have ascended By dawning light, pleasures of Windy ocean night, surf and Sand embrace, gentle lapping, Touching until as one we merged. “Nous Avons Fusionné” Ces hauteurs […]
  • 688. Ocean Breeze
    Let the clouds descend, Be my ocean breeze, Make me tremble by your touch. “Bris de l’Océan” Laissez les nuages descendent, Mon bris de l’ocean, Fais-moi trembler par ton étreinte. […]
  • 663. Gulf of Maine at Night
    Steadied on wheelhouse ladder, Gulf of Maine At Night, evening slipped to starry blackness, No ship lights or diesels droning, only open- Sea silence, pitching waves abated, witnessing What few […]
  • 658. Three Women, One Boat
    Fall gale on Gulf of Maine, smoke pouring From fishing boat, fire or distress signal, Burning oil-soaked rope, arms waving on The bow, Long Island fishermen in trouble, Steerage lost […]
  • 650. First-Breaking Light
    Must I know where each poem arises and Flies on wings across cresting seas? For Now, I give myself to storm, verses cast Upon the wind, greatest gift of muse […]
  • 639. Thera, Seashore Rain
    Seashore after spring rain, flooding, life Renewed in ocean marshes, cleansing, Stagnation washed away by freshening Streams, skies clearing, sun shining. Cool Salt breezes entering open windows at Night, familiar […]
  • 637. Guides to Understanding
    As if sleep had taken him, white sheet Pulled over his aged body, thin and pale, Thurman found dead in his Bass Harbor Home. Some said he was a retired […]
  • 635. Ocean Marsh
    Ocean marsh before Morning rain, gradual Approach of scudding Clouds, light breeze, Birds low flying, Water featureless, Smell of salt air.
  • 623. For Now Ocean
    For now ocean has lost me, But I have not lost the ocean. Smell of salt air and diesel I miss most, my sleeping bag And bunk, coffee, movement Upon […]
  • 604. Boat Repairs Done Wright
    Cold spring mornings, Stonington, Maine, Pungent smells across the marine railway, Boats hauled, repaired and refitted, hulls Barnacle-scraped and painted, including Trinity, Captain Wright’s two-mast sailing Skiff, her masts pulled, […]
  • 595. Thera, Ocean Prayers
    Wave-washed sandy isles, clear-flowing Streams, my heart moved round as winter Cold recedes, silent prayers fulfilled, born Upon dawning light, my soul is restored As warming sun rises on horizon’s […]
  • 593. Maine Cod Fishing
    Home buoys receding on horizon, falling Off radar, plowing cresting waves on Gulf of Maine, stern trawler, making for Fishing grounds, taking cod before stocks Collapse, trawl doors cutting icy […]
  • 588. Maine, Different Light
    As retired lobsterman, I’m oft asked what do I remember most, what did I like best, for few Moments, I thought knowingly, my answer: Timeless dawns on Gulf of Maine, […]
  • 587. Returning Home
    Returning home, leaving mainland for my Family isle, memories of winter isolation, Deep snow, warm summers and scar-leaving Insect bites, my visit after five-year absence, Demands of work, months slipped by, […]
  • 585. Cold Maine Morning
    Cold Maine morning on Isle au Haut Thoroughfare, sun rising earlier and Higher, steaming breath visible, smell Of breakfast bacon cooking, diesels Low idling, lobster season will come Early, making […]
  • 580. On Ocean Clifftops
    Light of ethereal sky, wide-opening gates Of dawn, glimpse of divine, as my father On ocean clifftops first revealed, when Clouds above, waves below reflected deific Light, and he posed […]
  • 578. Thera, Winter Ocean Snow
    Dawning winter ocean, subtle boundaries form Where surf, sand, and snow meet, waves lapping, Washing more than melting, ocean encroaching Upon snow, fragile wind wavelets, mingling in Frozen surf, no […]
  • 570. Thera, Ocean Clouds
    Why do I love ocean clouds? Clinging To seashores, we are like each other, Sunlight floating, grey scudding. On Winter days, clouds remind of Ægean Island summer evenings, sky-floating Forms […]
  • 564. Thera, Winter Ocean Shores
    Must winter ocean shores be so cold? Clear dawn, classical planets ascending, Surf crystals freezing on windswept Beach, geese close-huddled with beaks In feathers hid, desolate planet, fringes Of sun […]
  • 563. When Love is Gone
    What is left when love is gone? Wonder where we went wrong No more sun, sea breezes or Sharing poems or songs. Love flies away on heavy wings, Amongst clouded […]
  • 559. Compass and Boat
    If you love me, say not why or how, Love me as we are, and I shall love You, too, without question or doubt. Love like ours is oft confusing, […]
  • 556. Thera, Eos Ocean Dawn
    Winter ocean dawn, timeless firmament, Thousands seen, each praised, ascending Sun, rising from rosy depths of starry Night, promise of warmth on frosty days, Faith and guidance, Eos in her […]
  • 554. Thera, Ocean Rain
    Desolate ocean strands, days of cold Rain, merging clouds and waves, water Falling from above, drops absorbed in Sand, ripples lost to surf over washing Dunes, slicing narrow isthmus. Amongst […]
  • 553. Maine, Rethinking Winter
    Rethinking winter, green Christmas, and December lobster season, meeting at Café In Stonington, we combined gear, lines And brick-weighted traps for deep-water Lobsters north of Isle au Haut, running Forty-foot […]
  • 552. Thera, Reflections
    Amongst lofty clouds I reside, reflecting Waters calm and pastel skies, rosy dusk And golden dawn, grassy marshes and Oceans broad, seaward stretching pines And green fields, new home of […]
  • 551. Kisses in the Rain
    Gloomy beach, sea clouds scudding, you And me, skin-drenched, ankle deep in surf, Misty moments shared, now time-frozen, Fleeting caress, receptive eyes said more, Ocean retreating at our feet, we […]
  • 544. In my Thoughts
    You don’t have to love me or say you do. Feelings seem so profaned right now. We Have been so careful not to say or feel Too much, too soon, […]
  • 537. Tidal Porlock Marsh
    Chorus of heavenly voices, I am different now, Floating amongst trees and cloud shadows, ebb And flow of time on verdant earth, life-streaming Years flooding my soul, beauty and harmony, […]
  • 532. Strangers
    Love is a stranger, flat and featureless sea, Void of wind or sun, beset in opaque clouds, My life has come undone. For now, I have Memories, what love used […]
  • 526. Final Moments
    Final moments in mountains, my soul Wandering free along heights I loved, Lingering by seashores and fresh salt Breezes. I have given all to moors and Rolling pasturelands extending to […]
  • 519. Apricot Evenings
    Yes, I grasped ageless hands extending From scudding sea clouds, ascending on Fanciful flight, tempestuous winds, foam- Streaked seas, clouds billowing, tethering Chains released, we embraced in shining Mists, radiant […]
  • 506. Living Altar
    Educated and well read, we attracted Each other, intellect equal in respective Fields, acquaintanceship, passions rising To starry heights, beyond rationality, one Consumed with the other until love was Evoked. […]
  • 501. In Memory of “El Faro”
    While lobstering this week, sadness lingered On dark waters off Isle au Haut, in memory of “El Faro,” captain and crew lost in Category 3 Hurricane, 130 mph winds, steerage […]
  • 491. Jigging Northern Cod
    Beneath this wooden boat, ocean waves rise And fall, rocking open dory, steady drifting With sea currents, beyond sight of rustic Newfoundland landwash fishing stages, past Austere outports,  spruce-clad hills […]
  • 478. Gulf of Maine Gale
    Gulf of Maine winter gale, waves heaving And foam-streaked, Derek had two-day Window to haul traps on ocean side of Isle of Haut, water 200 feet deep, until Tragedy struck, […]
  • 476. Maine Lobster Season
    Scraping fall frost from windshields marks Approaching end of lobster season, hurried Efforts to work traps more often as days Shorten, bay waters misting at sunrise, for Hard work will […]
  • 474. Painted Dreams
    Arctic hammered shores I paint with pointed Brush, perspective of the sky, through clouds My visions pierces, as if on sunbeams high, Mountains sweeping into Arctic seas, glaciers Calving between […]
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