Her Endless Face

The shoreline was sparked with watery highlights, like a face glistening with sweat – cold to the touch, salty to the taste.  This was an endless landscape that formed the continents' profiles – straits, harbors and estuaries carved into the bones of her geographic shadow.  This silhouette was so complex that it would be a lifetime's work to maneuver around her expression.  This was a living portrait that dove into the blue glamour of the ocean and let the waves crash and worry its fair brow.

This was an old face, layered with history and secrets, full of earthquakes and continental drifts.  Small rivers embroidered her sandy complexion, wrinkling the fabric that lay across the fortunate coastlines. 

The feet of seabirds – not crows – dimpled her skin with a pattern of their dainty movements.

 

Her relationship with the ocean was a violent one; many times her face was beaten and broken by the masculine waves.  Often there were storms – stirred from an invisible core of anger and rising unbidden into a sky pale with fear – that collided with her passive scenery.

But in the morning, the shore would be littered with gifts from the sea, symbols of its guilt:  shells, sharp as shattered gemstones, shaped and patterned with all the cleverness it could muster, lay in profusion and confusion.  And after they were delivered, it was just possible to see a trident pierce the fog and hear the scalloped wheels of a chariot slice open the water like a wound, as the ocean admitted its maritime king into his pearly grottoes and silver kingdoms. 

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5 responses to “Her Endless Face

  1. This is what you do. You take something I've felt deeply but have never been able to define, much less identify, and lay it open with words. And you do it so well. Every time I come over it feels like I've discovered a treasure. Thank you.

  2. Love the metaphor – it reminds me of the ocean as one big elaborate bracelet. (From a magical treasure chest). Beautiful.

  3. Purple – There is something about the ocean that is so moving; perhaps it's the vastness, its myth, its depth – or all three, or more. I will always feel the need to chip away at its meaning.
    Ellie – The ocean was made to be a metaphor! It is so much more than a deep bowl filled with water and living things – sometimes only mad descriptives will suffice.

  4. Thank you so much for the comment you left on my profile. It was so unexpected! To be honest, I've been reading your blog for a while now and have even read a couple of your entries at a poetry group that I attend every Sunday. I adore the way your write. It's absolutely exquisite.

  5. My God this was good. Of course, the word good does not do it justice! I have been absent too long I'm afraid…
    I really like how you bring things to life! It's wonderful.

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