back

top

The Secret Shores of Linwood

Mick Ó Seasnáin

 

upon the secret shores of Linwood

sails roll upon the swell

and kites dance in lake-kissed winds 

to the silvery church knell

 

upon the secret shores of Linwood

storm-petrels glide here and there

like rafts without sand anchors

and dreams as laissez-faire

 

upon the secret shores of Linwood

bicycles drift along the coast

past the ice cream shop that time forgot

as the tetherball whips ‘round the post

 

upon the secret shores of Linwood

treasures abound in shells to hunt

and children build their castles

of Erie’s gilded lakefront

 

upon the secret shores of Linwood

laughter echoes in honeyed airs

as siblings bury one another

and parents whisper thankful prayers

 

upon the secret shores of Linwood

people swim and splash and dive,

making s’mores with driftwood fires

tasting what it is to be alive

 

upon the secret shores of Linwood

monarchs tickle the heavens so vast

as orange sunsets that kiss the waves

while kayaks paddle past

 

upon the secret shores of Linwood

stars reminisce in the darkening sky

’bout carefree days of childish play

and memories that never die

 

 

 

 

Mick Ó Seasnáin has continually attempted to farm his quarter acre lot in the small town of Wooster, Ohio while catering to the diverse and often unanticipated needs of his tripod-ish dog and three rowdy children. His wife tolerates his creative habits and occasionally enables his binges of writing and photography. Find more of his work at https://tinyurl.com/MickOSeasnain.

Check out a video of the poem at https://tinyurl.com/SecretShores


"I believe that poems often happen to people more so than people create poems. We hear something, see something, or experience something that won't leave us until we put it to words. That's what it is to write poetry - it's a compulsion.

The "The Secret Shores of Linwood" happened much like this - I found myself repeating the phrase after traveling there. We spent a weekend with some dear friends who had just lost a sibling, and they shared with us their time, their memories in a place where they spent a great deal of their childhood.

As I listened to the waves and felt the same sand that that lost boy would have felt time and time again, I watched as my own children played and splashed on the shore. It felt very much like the grief and the joy were lapping the sand like the ebb and flow of the tides, and I could not help but wonder how many stories happened right there. How many other families have spent countless afternoons in that very spot? How many people find comfort when they return there, to Linwood, to the memories?

So many secrets that we'll never know... that's just how it happened, a phrase that felt very much like a wave lapped at me until I wrote it down. I had to read it again and again before I understood what the poem wanted to be. It was reaching out to those families who have lost what can never be regained, and it is a promise that the memories will still be there, right where we first found them.

So... I don't always talk about my creative process. It's not always something within my control, but it has everything to do with listening and living in the moment, much like this poem"