On the Beach in January
By Dominique de Castro
I grew up loving the beach in the British Virgin Islands, but I couldn’t go swimming in January because the ocean was too cold. I wrote this poem to personify the cold of the sea.
From seething ocean to frothy white sea,
Over cresting, thunderous, waring waves,
Round the sharpest crags, through seething rage she
rose from silt clouds and victims’ water graves.
She blew arctic winds. Her lips blue as ice,
Her eyes unfeeling storms spilt somber tears.
She belts shrieks of hail wailing, crying thrice:
Come here! Wade near here! Hear me! Help me dear!
In sunset’s burnt glow, sweet empathy lead
me away from the safety of the shore.
Waves blushing a wonderful hue of red
Crashing the shore, their flames through my skin tore.
Flames and ice drowned me, clawing at my soul.
Cold, cruel witch was she! My lifeblood she stole.
I was inspired to make this piece from my own experiences with swimming at the beach during the winter. The water feels shockingly cold during that time of year and I wanted to capture the feeling of being so cold it almost burns in the poem. When I wrote the poem, I was also studying the Romantic period and sonnets in English class and I wanted to attempt to write my own sonnet modeled after Romanticism, which relies heavily on personifying nature. In the end, I came up with “On the Beach in January” and my mentor, Courtney, was kind enough to help me write and edit it.
Dominique de Castro is an emerging writer raised in the British Virgin Islands. She loves writing short stories and poetry and has recently become involved in writing plays.