Return from the Sea



At midnight, in a coastal town,
a specter walks the cobbled road
towards the home where he once lived--
a cozy, windswept, brick abode

in which one woman finds no rest,
no sleep, shedding tears of sorrow;
she lost her husband to the sea,
for him, there’ll be no tomorrow.

The oceans do not yield their dead,
but for the one whose woman’s grief
mellowed Neptune’s capricious heart
and granted one man short reprieve.

He’s guided by a seagull’s cries
as he walks through the foggy night.
The waves break on the nearby shore,
the moon casts her uncertain light

that keeps in shadow absent eyes--
the work of hungry gull and eel;
The specter is quite unaware
that gulls and fish had had their meal.

From ocean’s depth he rose tonight;
with sea kelp tangled in his hair,
his clothing dripping salinity,
he views his home with silent stare,

then staggers up the wooden steps
toward the door on which is hung
a wreath; it speaks of grievous loss,
cruel death that takes the old and young.

She hears him--sees him in her mind,
perceives his words: My Dear, Farewell . . .
Then, nothing more the woman hears,
for silent is his empty shell.

The wall clock strikes a droning “One,”
the apparition disappears
to leave behind a saline pool--
as salty as her countless tears.


Jerry Kemp

Jerry has written and published two books: A Bouquet of Poetic Thoughts II and Galloping Pegasus, four humorous novellas.  Retired from his horse ranch and other activities, Jerry lives with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and numerous birds at the outskirts of the Sonoran desert in Arizona.  Celebrating his 82nd birthday in October 2016, ignoring the onset of Parkinson’s symptoms, Jerry continues on in his pursuit of happiness. He still paints, enjoys classical music and poetry by the old masters and, of course--writing.