Snow Geese stirring with warming morning sun.
Snow Geese stirring with warming morning sun.

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 in deep space, this strand alone
As if thousand years ago.

Must ocean shores be so featureless?
Force of cold waves, ocean sweeps
Over barren beach. Absent are seashells
Or skittering sanderlings, sand frozen
And packed hard, I feel no stirrings of
Aquatic life, schools of fish and whale
Pods are far offshore.

Must these shores be so blustery? Sun
And wind rising, stars and moon setting,
Another winter day begins, gulls gust
Darting, on marshes ducks low flying,
Swans beyond furthest reach, thin cold
Air, snow geese flock amongst dunes,
Clumps of waving seagrass.

Frosty ocean marsh at Virginia Assateague Island.
Frosty ocean marsh at Virginia Assateague Island.

Yes, winter ocean shores must be cold
And windy, marsh grass turned brown,
Nor’easters and snow spinning up the
Coast, surf frozen, waterfowl migrating,
Ducks at ice openings, hibernation and
Renewal, austere beauty appreciated
Equally as milder seasons.

Ægean muse more accustomed to warm sea
breezes, gentle Thera experienced her first winter
on Virginia Atlantic Ocean shores, Assateague
Island, temperatures mid-20s in blustery winds.

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