Life/Lines - April 10

Submitted poems for April 10, 2020

A daily poetry practice to generate and sustain the Life/Lines among us, for published and novice poets alike

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Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.


Send us your poem via our Submissions page or post on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #lifelines.

Today’s words were contributed by Jane Ellen Ibur, an arts educator and the Poet Laureate for the City of St. Louis. She is most recently the author of The Little Mrs./Misses.


Poems submitted for April 10


Clouds floating
Across the sky

Waves crashing
Talking to MySelf

Youth was
nothing like yours!

— Braveheart Gillani



10 April 2020

I woke up with the image of sea
And thought
Blue is not the color of melancholy
Picasso was wrong
Sorrow always comes in waves
to have a conversation.
When it happens,
become a Whale.
Swim in the sky.

— Jey Sushil  (Track for International Writers)



How can a blue mood last
When there is a whale,
Older than any of us and thoroughly
At ease in their own skin,
Creating the waves in a perfect arc?
The sadness rises, melts into the sky,
And the whale and I talk
Of more important things.

— Jeannette Cooperman



blue sky waves
beckoning cerulean

come talk for a while

— Tassy Hayden



You strike in waves
I would greet you with talk

You smacked me blue

Sky-numb I don’t speak

— james goodman  4.10.20



After the whale spit me up
I learned how to talk.
It was my last chance at twenty-three
to dye my hair blue.
I could hardly believe
those words coming in waves
from a split-open sky
while I was out of my depth.

— Matthew Freeman



Did the whale watch the walk above her?
Had she known the waves firm, the sky open?
She tells her deepest blue.

— Debra Kennard



Sky Song (Kwansaba)

I rest my head upon a song
made of blue waves and sailing whales
that spin cotton clouds and talk of
dreams; swellin’ my heart again and again.
green onions waft from below, God calls
to me from above; earth and sky
fill my head full to the brim.

— Susan Lively 4-10-20



From the Desk of Monsieur J. Verne

Here we sit, on our Island
Surrounded by all the Blue
Waves rolling, crashing, licking
Eating away at the coast and
Spitting new land somewhere else
The mechanical whales mate
Between the sea and the sky
We sit and talk, on the last Island.

— Tobias Feldmann (International Writers Track)



A colorless sky but it is LOUD!
The waves come through
resounding across my soul.
Yellow, red, blue
Their talk thunders
penetrating the gentle whispers of green
a soft whale song.

— Eric R



I have never seen a whale,
Blue or otherwise,
arch its back toward the sky above white-capped waves
lift and flaunt its fluke at me
a sign of connection between us.
But I’ve heard talk. I know it happens. I’ve seen pictures.
And so, like so much of life,
I am willing to believe it’s so.

— Steve Givens



Talk Big

about blue whales
among waves and sky

— 2020 04 10                 by Lloyd Klinedinst



the task of the oceanic translator

what if whale songs aren’t songs at all
but small talk, banal chatter
about the weather and the waves,
how blue the water looks today,
yes grandma’s doing fine.
but then again, what if they're poems?

— Gabriella Martin



Jonah's Quarantine Diary, Day Whatever

you know the whale’s belly is actually quite spacious
in terms of texture, it
feels like being in one of those bouncy castles
at a rich kid’s birthday party
talk about fun
no cake here but it’s cushiony and warm
floods on occasion, but you can ride the waves and
sometimes catch a glimpse of blue sky too

— Gabriella Martin



My white whale:
fingertips blue as you
push air through artery.
Take me
through breaching sky
to talk, ceaselessly,
as Charon waves past Cocytus.

– Hannah Grimes



The humpback whale, still free to roam,
sings to explore the blue waves of a place
and changes his tune to match that of another.
Deep thinkers who breech to touch the sky,
if you could talk to us, what would you say?

— Dianna Graveman




I did not know
there is such a thing as whale-glow
until, standing on the deck,
looking over the rail,
I saw her pale
luminous halo
gliding under the waves
like a green cloud stroking blue sky.
Sliding beneath the boat,
her oblong light-print,
the visual echo
of her magnificent presence
moving slowly, invisibly

(who can talk of such miracles?)

— January Kiefer



Beach Daze
White-capping waves draw a dancing line
between crystal blue water and even bluer sky
Hypnotized by the steady rhythm, I fail to notice
when the whale began to talk

— Kim Vernon




Blue waves of nostalgia move through us
Even as the sun, moon and sky remain the same
We hope our everyday lives will return to normal
(What we may have thought was boring in the past)
Yet talk of the abnormal continues
And sits heavy like a whale slapping the water
Then sinking below the surface

— Betty Springfield



Talk your blue wave at me,
Melted sky, blowing against our home.
Unburden your rain against my window.
My reiki whale healing sounds to you and

— Jimi Kelly



On the beach waves at your feet.
A whale in the distance against the blue sky.
Morning silence broken by talking.
Sunrise welcomes a glorious day

— Dave Brendel



If I could talk to a whale
the one who floats on the ocean's surface
breathes in fresh spring air under blue blue sky
then dives under the waves
down down down to the darkness below
where she is equally at home
I'd ask her for a map
showing how to traverse both worlds
without getting lost in either

— Carol Haake 4/2020



"A Translational Poem (After Lorca, Spicer, Ashbery)"

Here we are, it's about 3:30, and even the coffee is blue...

So let's talk, explore our vocabulary:
Not sure what to do about the whale: was it hwæl, hvalr, hval, wâlira, wels?

Still 3:30, and here we are: hanging out at Aquatic Park.
Is this what the practice of outside feels like? Watching the waves?
Actually, a wave--always overwhelming in its approach towards us.

What to say then?...
A las tres y media de la madrugada, la luna, rota, y el cielo azul del Sacromonte.

—Ignacio Infante



Solitary Play

The pod moved on beneath cloud-dappled blue of mid-summer sky,
save for one whale trailing behind, holding back,
smaller than the rest, it seemed to us
stalled in our talk, our bare feet walk along the beach

to watch its solitary play –
circling, breeching, circling again and again,
creating waves of solitary ripples, with glee, it seemed,
as we stood enchanted by its buoyant joy.

— Cathleen Callahan      April 10, 2020



Waves of warmest blue
Reach up to talk to the sky
Crests becloud a whale

— Alexandra Steszewski



Blue waves
Lick the sky
And the whale talks to the dolphin

— Anonymous



blue winter waves,
talk to the heavens,
and drench the merging cloudscape,
at the behest
of the whale surging toward the sky.




New Skills

My daughter can now make
a whale appear in her room,
her ceiling becomes a sky of blue.

There is no need to talk
in this time together
with the new wave of Tik Tok.

— Laurie J



Way down in the deep blue
A tin color swims around you
Two whales talk to one another
in the waves under the sky of summer
See them go passing by

— Boden Fields, age 10



Once, I dreamed a whale rose from sparkling blue
glitter water. Off the edge of a boat dock, my dangling
bare feet savored the surge of waves. It seemed so important,
this over-powering, beautiful creature emerging from the depths,
now erupting in fountain, foam, mist and light. I did not
recognize that my feet were actually in the sky,
my dreams upside-down, their reality
threatened and hunted to near-extinction.

— Julia Gordon-Bramer



They told me, once, that the sky isn’t blue,
And that the waves don’t talk to me either.
Their sounds— nothing but the tired ins and outs of a ceaseless day’s work.
I can no longer listen to the waves.
They never said anything about the whales, though—
unfamiliar spectacles out of reach.
Do they know the sky isn’t really blue?

—Nicci Mowszowski



The Human Eye by James B. Moog

Don’t call me Ishmael;
I’m tired of that talk.
I live beyond the Whale
And reside now with the flock.

Oh, in harmony beneath the sky!
No longer seeking the celestial or the True;
Against waves of Fate, only an If am I.
Just a possibility beneath cerulean blue…

— Anonymous



Moi et la mer---c’est tout un monde
Quand je surveille les ondes.
Soit mon désir petite ficelle,
qui me relie au bleu ciel.
Je rêve d’avoir des entretiens
Avec cette magnifique baleine
Avec cette magnifique baleine.

The sea and I: a world unto itself,
as I look out upon the waves.
Let my desire be a small string
binding me again to the blue sky.
I dream of having talks
with this stupendous whale
with this stupendous whale.

— Robert Henke



Waves of blue,
blue as the sky,
wash over my freshly painted toenails
as I talk to myself,
under my breath,
and catching my breath, at the sight of
the bobbing whale
in the sky blue waves.

— Kelley Lingle



Silent Treatment

Talk to me.
I can’t get you to see me like you used to.
Yeah, it is that same feeling, believe me.
Of when I learned the blue of the waves
are only reflections of the sky.
Clearly G-d, too, didn’t give a second thought
When he created words leaving my mouth that return to me empty.
Like invisible boomerang.
Like a beached whale.
Are you talking to me?
Sorry I had my eyes closed so
I didn’t hear you

— Ellery Saluck



Inside, I walk a circuitous labyrinth
traveling a dizzying confinement.
Sail the Atlantic, bottom out on a wave,
talk myself down from the blue that
scuffs the sky and skirts the waves,
where Fracture the humpback whale
breeched and frolicked in front of me.
One day... someday I'll return to the sea.

— Linda O'Connell



In the Museum of Natural History
a blue whale model flies forever
high above the heads of visitors
who talk forever of its size.

I wonder if a blue whale might sometime
as it floats upon the surface of the sea
turn a great eye to the sky
and share our dream of flying.

— Warren Hauff



Florence Oregon, 1970

450 kilograms of coastal dynamite, how to
lift a sperm whale into blue sky. People discovered
too much bang and rain-bloated stink funny. Not really
the end we talk about when we speak of grace. Why
do we laugh at indignity out of the absurd? Some insist
waves are always pretty things rolling in so gentle, never mind
what carcasses wash up, whales or the grief of others
we can blow anything up with enough dynamite.

— Casey Hampton



The blue moon anticipates
            today’s setting sun, as
white mottled seagulls sky dance in
            choreographed precision
the gray whale has surfaced at
            the horizon’s distant break, while
green waves of foam trowel
            the stubborn pebbled shore
still vivid, still dazzling
            these colors of lost tomorrows.

— Anonymous



I search the sky for you.
I cry, then talk to the clouds,
Asking them to stop hiding you.
There's a whale-shaped one.
Maybe you're like Jonah,
In the belly of this beast,
Relentless about your release.
All I see
Is blue.
Missing you
Comes and goes in waves.

— J. Thomas



I am like the whale, submerged shaman of the sea, suspended in molasses blue
My body reads the augurs of waves that whisper eddies to the deep
Shivers in the wind shift and swell in currents, waters and worlds collide
The sea trembles with talk of a great ungathering of beings
I swallow the vastness of the sea, feeling for our fortunes with feathered fingers
Sometimes I ascend, to that tensioned threshold between sea and sky
With the bow of my body, I crest, breaking that saline seal, I am reborn in air
I breathe in the sky, light and lightness, before sinking back to my still and swirling refuge.

— Maeve Elder



Waves break way
Breaths still
Souls reveal and spread towards the sky
Talk hushes
Whales emerge
And in this great commune, they marvel at the beauty of blue

— Amy Nguyen



i'm talking blue sky
i'm talking blue whale
i'm talking blue waves
i'm ticktock
        talking blue

— Jay Buchanan



Obedience to the Inner Voice

Though this is not the task that I would choose
I will embark on my appointed journey and have the talk.
Unlike Jonah I do not need to a whale to swallow me whole,
Traverse the blue waves and cough me out under a darkening sky
To do what is right.

— Karen Engelkenjohn 4/10/2020



Under a sky so blue
Any time now he's due
Alas, the blowing whale talks
His tail waves to you. SPLASH!

— Ted Diekemper



Forget everything they ever told you—
that your shoulders were too soft and too weak to carry their expectations.
Let their fading voices hush to silence,
and wear no more disguises.
For you are the rock upon which their waves break.

— A. Morhardt




Occasionally I hear the stars talk to one another in the sky,
Gleaming words flow in waves, a canvas colored with ethereal midnight blue hues,
But, beauty isn’t so easily found — not in the whale, the pitcher, the archer.

Their hushed conversations slip out of earshot,
As we scramble to know,
They slide into a patchy mirage — out of reach
Elusively sending messages into the dark.

— Tanvi Kohli



Climate Crisis

We risk losing so much:
The blue sky
The blue whale.
All talk, no action.
Waves of frustration
Threaten to drown me.
We are all

— Pam Hughes



Memories of our initial winter in San Diego, a whale-watching excursion.
The sky, cerulean blue once the fog burned off.
Our first time on a sailing ship,
my mind turned to long-ago adventurers and pirates
while you took your Dramamine.
The excited talk of other tourists ends my reverie
A mammoth gray whale breaches the waves, spraying vapor in front of the horizon.

— Kim Lehnhoff



I long today as I did then
For waves of blue that I recall
The sky so bright, the wind so warm
Your arms around me safe from harm

We didn’t need to say a word
The wind robbed every breath
We knew that words were meaningless
When whales talked to us

— T.M.Wilson



Whale Talk

The whales offshore talk about us
Their smaller brothers on the land
Spray salt as they ride the waves
Write with the ocean’s blue ink
Wisdom we cannot read nor absorb
Breathed into our common lungs.

— Jo Schaper


What if a whale could talk
and the waves could dance
never falling prey or victim to human hands
living a life of blissful romance underneath the depths of a sky so blue
Realistically knowing, of course, that all of this is so very far from the truth
But, honestly speaking sometimes using our imagination is so much easier do
Alteast until we are all ready to open up our eyes and deal with the deeper roots

— Kenyth Harvey


Whale Talk

The whales offshore talk about us
Their smaller brothers on the land
Spray salt into our common sky
Write with the ocean wave’s blue ink
Wisdom we cannot read nor absorb
Breathed into our common lungs.

— Anonynmous


salt spray dyes my hair.
when will I feel the sky touch
waves with gentle punch?
strike deep blue in conversation,
talk sweetly in the belly of the whale.

— Sabrina Spence


whales talk in song, deep
beneath blue waves, a fathom
echo of sky winds

— Bernie Mossotti











Headline image: Jiang Xulei on Unsplash