barren beach

green car near seashore with blue ocean

Photo by Simon Matzinger on

barren beach

it is the ebb it seems:
the tide has left
tiny corals naked
like forever-dancing
pale-faced stuffed
under the glaze of
the midday heat.
the drought is settled
even beside the sea
upon this empty reach.

the sand is a desert
where i mark the prints
of my waking hours.
but quickly will the wind
blow them away and
scatter them
hopeless in the air
like fallen stardusts
in silver maze
floating in my
dreaming hours.

even the furious phantom
within the empty sand shells
can only howl muffled
and mournful with
the silent sea
in this barren beach:
and the winged heavens
shall caress the ocean
to lull the conscience 
into a dream 
that can forgive. 

© said sadain, jr.  1975
revised in 2018


A shorter version of the poem ‘barren beach’ was published in the Focus Philippines magazine issue of 27 December 1975. The above poem has been revised from the 1975 version, mainly to make the three stanzas equally of 11 lines each, with the addition of the last 5 lines.  The original version had its stanzas with 10, 9 and 6 lines, intended to give the sense of an off-kilter barrenness. Re-reading the verses today, I feel we’ve already suffered more than enough from this punishing imbalance, that it seems too cruel now to further rub salt into the wound. So the revision is an effort, if but minuscule, to restore some semblance of balance, and express a compunction that may already be too late.

— ssj, 11 august 2018 





About sandstarsblog

wild reader. writer in the wild. technologist at work. not necessarily in that order.
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8 Responses to barren beach

  1. msjadeli says:

    Regarding your note at the bottom, things change, like the tide. It ebbs and flows with regularity, but it carries varied things in and out with it…..

    • Yes, Ms. Jade, change is a given. And in the grand scheme of things, the ebbing and the flowing, the give and take, the cycles are bound to uphold the conservation of energy. The danger is when these fluctuations are amplified or modulated to extents that may not be endurable anymore for any reasonable amount of time for life, as we know it, to adapt to the cycles. 🙂

  2. kunstkitchen says:

    The article from National Geographic is very sad. Your poem fits the theme.

  3. Articulate and desolate imagery, an impressive piece, Said. I appreciate your final hope: by contrast it seems to me to make the previous impermanence more powerful. I do not know who deserves deus ex machina.

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