"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." ~Thomas Gray

"Poetry unites." ~Anon

"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it." ~Emily Dickinson

Written by Julie Buffaloe-Yoder
She currently lives in Ohio, USA,
but, is in the process of moving to Durham, North Carolina
Her blog: The Buffaloe Pen

We Leave The Beaches For Tourists

Let them have the new white path.
We’ll keep our old black road.
We’ll keep the marshes, the bays,
the clam loved mud, the scaly
smell of fish house sweat.

We’ll keep the hard blue hands
of net menders, carvers, pickers,
oystermen, crab pot makers.
We’ll keep little wooden boats
churning foam, the musk of nets
hanging with vines in front yards.
We’ll keep the grit in our teeth,
the red bent backs of generations.

We leave the beaches for them,
the growing rows of condos,
swift internet access, dry stack
marinas, three story malls.

We’ll keep the slow turn of fans
in the heat, mosquitos, the creak
of sticky wooden floors, stepping
in the sweet shit of wild horses,
pickled smells of general stores,
old fishermen who sit on benches
and tell outrageous stories.

Let them have country clubs,
golf courses, famous actors,
casinos, beachside showers.
We’ll keep green garden hoses
and a beacon that opens and closes
its bright midnight eye.

We’ll keep sharp September stars
and the soft secrets of girls
growing up on salt water.

Let them have all that.
We’ll keep all this.
But all that keeps
moving closer to
our old black road.
How quickly
it all erodes.

Originally published on writer's personal blog.
Posted with consent of the writer.


  1. CLAY said...
    "How quickly
    it all erodes." Splendid. The two realms cannot touch. The fanciful reality of a transient vacation life and the hardened reality of a sea community--I say, those extravagant constructs will erode like a virgin steel in the salty hands of the mariner.Bravo Julie. Bravo.

    -Clayrn Darrow
    christopher said...
    Julie darling, how nice to find you here. See you around the pen. As ever, you find images that live and breathe.
    Donna said...
    What a gorgeous description "We’ll keep sharp September stars
    and the soft secrets of girls
    growing up on salt water."
    RachelW said...
    It's great to see your work here, Julie! I love how this poem captures the tension between the tourist trap and what's real.
    Crafty Green Poet said...
    I love the contrasts in this, and the ending is so true...
    perla said...
    Beautiful poems ... Well !
    Catvibe said...
    Once again, you blow me away Julie my friend. That makes me want to go to YOUR beach. It also makes me think of Phuket in Thailand, which was once a paradise and now is a grotesque vision of all you have described. There is something sacred about the beach, it should never be allowed to be glutified. And yet, things don't go the way they would if it were up to me or you...sigh...cry...
    Kimberli said...
    Stunning. I'm always amazed at how well you capture the essence of this region.
    Bob said...
    "We’ll keep sharp September stars
    and the soft secrets of girls
    growing up on salt water."

    The quintessential expression of the piece, in my opinion... simply brilliant and insight that is third-eye worthy. I love this one, Jodi... magnificent.
    Julie said...
    Thanks so much to everyone for all your kind comments. I can't wait to read everything over here. Thanks again to Nancy for the opportunity to be here:) It's a beautiful site.
    K.Lawson Gilbert said...
    God...you just amaze me with your ability to plunk a person down, smackdab, in your poem. You are so effing gifted!!!! To copy favorite lines would mean to transfer the whole poem here. Your words are a salve - soothing the stressfulness of the day.

    Thank you, Julie for putting this site on your blog...You always lead me to wonders!
    Every Photo Tells A Story said...
    This is late, but, it was my pleasure, Julie, and Thank you for allowing me to post it:)

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home

Note: All written material is copyrighted by the individual writer and/or blog author, and may not be used without written consent. Copyright © Breathing Poetry 2009. All Rights Reserved.

"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words." ~Robert Frost

I thank you for visiting, Breathing Poetry.
~"May love and laughter light your days!"

Breathing Poetry: A Collection of Words and Emotions