The Cave


As a child I would explore the magic there

a hidden world of washed up treasures

string, wood, perhaps an old boot

soft edged sea glass nestled in salted pebbles

and I could lose myself for hours amid

those simple things, incapable of harm


And all the while a secret beckoned with the light

creeping in and calling me from the horizon

to ensure I would return and meet you there one day

clutching love notes scrawled on a brown paper bag

my windswept heart aching in silent anticipation

of a cloudburst of sighs passed between lovers lips


Hidden by the crag edges of the cave

we held steady against the tide, rising fast

’til we let it take us under, and I thought

‘we could go on forever like this’

our bliss suspended in the dark

I felt magic once more, tingling under my skin


Soon after, you were gone, and I couldn’t explain

why the ripples of your touch now trembled at my side

and the black went on forever, my horizon fading

yet still I would come, waiting in the echoes

and once, I thought I saw you there

sunlight dancing shadows at your back


But our tale was cast adrift, and clarity came to call

in the end, as fate’s palm passed you a pittance

and gifted me with riches.  And only then could I see

the light, as our son wandered in the low tide

searching for washed up treasures where once

we’d buried a future in an old memory box


44 responses to “The Cave

  1. ………beautiful and though you claim inspiration from the photo, I truly feel a presence beneath the words that resounds much deeper than a black and white memory of paper…….. Lovely, as always, Vanessa. ~ Love, Bobbie

  2. and the cycle closes again…very nice…love the love notes scrawled on a brown paper bag and burrying a future in an old memory box…

  3. oy what a emotional end with it all coming round now with the son…some really cool touches in this one…nice story telling for sure….the ripple of touch at your side after they are gone…nice…

  4. If this is all imagination taken from the picture, well done on making it such a wonderful, emotional and very vivid read.
    We used to collect all sorts of treasures on our beaches here. I used to make jewelry from the beach glass.

  5. Interesting mix of memories…happy and I’d also say melancholic?….it’s like you were seeing yourself through the eyes of your own child (if that makes sense)…like you could feel those emotions of exploration and discovery…but also in their crept this notion of adulthood…with a sad twist in the end (at least that’s how it made me feel)….it was almost like….why does life have to get spoiled by notions of the real world and the abandonment of ‘childish’ emotions…i’m making no sense am I ….

  6. soft edged sea glass nestled in salted pebbles

    and I could lose myself for hours amid

    those simple things, incapable of harm

    LOVE this!! Such excellent writing!!

  7. This is very cool, reading the second time too. Thanks for reposting it. Indeed, the lost loves often haunt us, though rarely with such magic and calm as here. It’s lovely to think what forgiveness bequeaths out spirit.

  8. Very effective(and affecting) narrative poem, with lots of vivid pictures that impress sensations–that’s a cool photograph, but your words give it a real frame of reference and enhance it, I think, past just the image and into a personal place–which is what poetry is all about. Enjoyed it much.

  9. A cave is always deeper, and only as deep as we care to journey. A very brave write with much more meaning than I read at cave’s mouth in the light of day. This piece really touched me in its sincerity. Loved your voice.

  10. Wow Vanessa, with the amount of emotion and clarity of description in that poem I thought it must be something you had lived through. Glad to hear it wasn’t!

    But, enjoyed the poem, thanks.

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