Writer’s Island #3: The Key

dropped off behind like a forgotten soul
the key, a jagged edge glint of gold
teeth turned towards the surf and
resting in the sand under the glaring noon
shadow voices ride the wind
skimmed from the surface of the ocean
they pour into my ears and
curl up inside

come on, baby
gonna take a little ride

follow the footsteps
a silent lump of khaki sits a few yards away
an empty pair of shorts, rumpled and
singing to compete with the sand
buried beige inside tan wanderlust
shifting spines with the wind
the water is waiting
hear it whisper again

I’ll take you down the only road
I’ve ever been down

closer to the water’s edge
a button-down shirt, collapsed like an expiration
like wind exiting a chest
covered in red hibiscus stars, exploding
loud yellow centers opened to the sky
mimicking the sun as if to mock it
next to it, a balled-up ribbed muscle shirt
in dingy cream glory and
faded boxer shorts, once Azul Maya
now they are a sick powder blue
the water sings again in sotto voce

let’s swim to the moon
let’s climb through the tide

two scooped out hollows of leather
soles dug out and worn down by feet
brown sandals sitting perfectly still
just before the water can swallow them
just short of heeding its call

surrender to the waiting worlds that
lap against our sides

how does a man become vapor?
he leaves his clothes behind
in escaped prayers that transcend sweat
and the cold center below his ribcage where
screams begin
and yet, the water mocks him

well I’ve never prayed
but tonight I’m on my knees, yeah

how does the ocean collect songs
and sing a soundtrack to murder madness?
the audio is in my ears
like sitars droning, tuned in time to a funeral pyre
I thought this was Paradise
but this is Diyu Island
Hotel California where the damned dance and writhe
to the sound of shadow voices

it’s just sex and violence
melody and silence
have you ever been down?

turn a wretched back and shaking ears
to the blood-hungry ocean
walk away
hope that I am dreaming
know that I am not

Written 5/17/10
© 2010 Nicole Nicholson except for the sections in italics, which are © 1967 The Doors and © 1997 by Richard Ashcroft, Keith Richards, and Mick Jagger. All rights on material written by N. Nicholson reserved.

This was written for Writer’s Island Prompt #3: The Key and incorporated a little bit of We Write Poems Prompt #2: Singer, Sing Me A Song. I ran with the discovery of a key in the sand and weaved in lyrics from The Doors’ “Moonlight Drive” and The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” to suggest a woman hearing voices. Is she psychic or insane? You’ll have to read the next poem after I write it to find out.


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About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
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5 Responses to Writer’s Island #3: The Key

  1. brenda says:

    Masterful! I love the snippets of song…you’ve taken this prompt and run with it. Your personification of the ocean is interesting and effective. Really like thinking of it as blood-hungry… thanks!

  2. pamela says:

    I love what you have done here. This is so haunting with the music lyrics. Excellent job!

  3. Dee says:

    very strong – sirens song. Loved the lyrics woven throughout.

  4. wayne says:

    agree about the lyrics Nicole….n icely done

  5. Pingback: Writer’s Island Poem #4: Wind « Raven's Wing Poetry

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