how many ways can a wave wash to shore?

(Images of waves used with this posting are all courtesy of their respective contributors at


how many ways can
a wave wash to shore?

blithely as a titter,
lazing like a lamb,
or stirring a trifling
whiff of temper,

lusty as a gust of wind
licking the windowpane,
white horses with flowing manes
kicking up a thunderstorm,

a lost whale dragging
its belly on the sand,

frothing thunderclaps
shattering like glass,

out of a deep vastness
to die on shallow land
and dare the pregnant heaven
to break her water bag

or clear her thoughts to find
some answers to the question
“how many ways can
a wave wash to shore?”

Copyright © alia.tocastasparkle, 2008

Author’s note:  This poem was written in July 2008. It is part of a modest poetry collection about the sea, “to cast a sparkle. The poetry collection is inspired by the uncertainty of the meeting point among wind, sea and land: is it somewhere here or there, or is it all in the mind?, variously written under the pen names alia.tocastasparkle and qalbin.tocastasparkle, depending on my creative mood at the moment of writing each poem.

Alia is a pen name. It is also the second name of both my mother and my wife. I like the name very much, as much as I love my mother and my wife. In this collection, I use the name as a pen name to escape from the rigidity of gender, and give cognizance to the psychologically androgynous mind that Ursula K. Le Guin aptly describes as ‘generic’ in her 2004 book The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination

After all, the wind, sea and land, left on their own, do not bother about their gender, and look how expansive they have become.

— Sand Stars Journal, 2 Feb. 2017

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