Wednesday, 10 September 2014


“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.” - Albert Camus

‘The Sea’ is this week’s prompt at Poetry Jam and all who take up the challenge offer a poem. Here is mine:


Evening Promenade

Twilight: Shadows lengthen,
While sunset dyes all in orange mellowness.
Whispers of night advancing –
Illusions rustling by,
Taking advantage of the failing light.

The usual sounds of evening
Quietly merge with the silence
Which more befits the mystery of night.
Cheated even by hope, and disillusioned
You walk slowly towards the sea.

The sun vanishes and only a faint afterglow
Reflects itself on shifting waters
Of a duplicitous sea.
Dreams, fantasies, visions,
Distortions of reality, pass you by…

And then it is all so easy:
It’s all a dream, all so unreal in any case –
But then what’s real you ask?
You walk into the sea
And let the waves take you into their embrace.

You breathe in, but cool, fresh, living
Salty water suffocates your scream,
Filling your lungs with saline
Giving you joy, confusion, pain,
And then, thankfully, oblivion.

The illustration is an underwater sculpture by artist JasondeCaires Taylor.


  1. It must be awful to reach the point where one feels hopeless & even 'cheated by hope' and decides to end one's life to end the pain. I have always thought that death by drowning would be a most painful death. A person who would choose this for himself must be desperate indeed.

  2. Your persona should swim out to the boat. Peggy Goetz has an interesting woman about to commit suicide in a boat. Swim out jump in the boat , get completely sloshed on champagne and pills with her... jump overboard together...or better still don't jump overboard at all ... sail away to the land where the bong trees grow where you can get stoned and sing Bach cantatas together:)

    1. Interesting Rallentanda. I had not really considered that my woman in the boat was committing suicide but that does make it a more interesting poem! Thanks.

  3. Oh! sad! really dark too... unexpected ending indeed!

  4. What a chilling poem. Sad when a person gets to this point where oblivion is a blessing. Thanks for linking this at Poetry Jam!

    1. Oh and I really like the photo of the underwater sculpture!

  5. the poem begins with sunset dyes...nice word play and explores that path to oblivion thinking it to be the reality...this one is sad, painful and dark....musings of the underwater stone sculpture?....

  6. I really disliked the sculpture. And I don't like poems or reading about suicide.
    This is not to say it was not beautifully written, nor was the sculpture grotesque - just unsettling.
    It is not something I enjoy taking my mind to. Still well done.

  7. The title led me to think I was going to read about a nice walk on the beach. It is frightening, and tragic, that for some people taking their own lives seem to be the only outcome.

  8. A tragic end, yet you led me there along a beautiful path. Drowning is terrifying to me, and yet you made it seem almost peaceful. Nicely done.

  9. The underwater sculpture is remarkable. Sad to think how hopeless people can have captured it well in your poem. A permanent solution to a temporary problem.

  10. Such a powerful poem and amazing how that hopelessness is captured in the soul, great writing.

  11. Certainly a somber piece, but wonderfully written NIcholas as always.

  12. this is just too sad, you have wrought a powerful piece of hopelessnes, in the background such amazing colour and potency

    much love...

  13. Intense and compelling - the juxtaposition of light and dark images and emotions is very powerful.

  14. This starts out as a gentle pastorale but then dives into dark and melancholy depths. It made my flesh creep. Sad but powerful...

  15. Melancholy and beautiful. It is such a pity that people are driven to suicide...

  16. This made me sit and reflect, Nicholas. That a person commits suicide is a personal choice and you have to wonder what has happened int heir life to cause to commit such a desperate act. Desperation as you say in your poem is a major factor, but unfortunately many people who see their situation as desperate and kill themselves have tragically evaluated their situation wrong.

  17. Beautiful photo too. These art works underwater are simply breathtaking!