Tag Archive | ocean

The Drifter – A poem from Folly Beach Dances

2 The Drifter copyright

Since it’s National Poetry Month, I’d like to share a poem I penned for my 2015 Da Vinci Award Winning book, FOLLY BEACH DANCES – THE INFINITE RHYTHMS OF A SOUTH CAROLINA SEASHORE, inspired by the sea’s rhythm and my lymphoma journey, and endorsed by Karen White, NYT bestselling author.

It’s titled “The Drifter”, on page 5 of this ‘healing’ coffee table book of lyrical poetry and gorgeous photography, with reflections by 5 award-winning women authors, and my husband.

“The Drifter”

Not far in the distance I notice an old tree,

now driftwood,

with branches reaching out to a cornflower blue sky and white-streaked cotton clouds.

The image of a beach bungalow appears in my head,

with sounds of laughter,

lazy days in the sun,

peaceful ocean breezes,

smoky barbeques at dusk

and a warm crackling fire at night.

Except from Return to Folly Beach, Sheree K. Nielsen

Folly Beach Dances, copyright May 2014

Peace out and love,

Sheree

The Four Trees of Christmas…..

DSC_1030 animals tree copryAs hubby and I stared at the boxes stacked on the shelves in our basement storage closet, he looked at me asking, “Which tree do you want to put up? The 7-footer or the 4- footer?”

“Neither.”

Somehow, putting up a big tree this year, didn’t seem that important.

A small green tree, about 2 feet high, partially decorated, rested on a storage box, with names of our fur babies. It needed some tender loving care. I carefully removed the tree, and set it outside the closet.

A 2 ½ foot tall white, snowy-covered pine tree (more trunk than branches) stood on the floor, decorated with red garland, next to a foot-high pine tree with burlap-sack covered base. I smiled gazing at the trees, and placed the two outside the closet.

On my favorite glass coffee table in the basement sat a mostly-brown, prelit tree with tiny cylindral-like lights at the branches tips. I lifted the tree, and placed it next to the other three trees.

Hubby assisted by carrying the boxes filled with ornaments to the dining room on the main floor.

The first tree, or ‘fur baby tree’, was missing some names of pets, past and present. Light aqua, pink and red ornaments caught my eye. I wrote the pet’s names in metallic permanent marker on the shiny glass balls until all fur babies were accounted for. I hung snowflake ornaments on the branches, and draped hot pink ribbons on the tree, which rested on a stark white window bench in my office.

The second tree – or marine life tree – was just for hubby and me. Although there begged too many ocean-themed ornaments to pick from, I carefully selected momentos such as the scuba diving ones – bees, reindeer, and people; glass fish ornaments given to me by friends and family; a handcrafted stained glass scallop shell made in Charleston, and a couple ships in a bottle. This bright, happy tree rested on the modern Danish buffet table in the dining room.

DSC_1037 sea life tree crop copryI draped a red tablecloth dotted with a black tree pattern, on a small round glass table situated near the French doors in the kitchen. The location was perfect overlooking our backyard, trees, and the field beyond.

On this table, I placed the skinny white snow-covered and meek burlap-based trees next to each other. At the base of the white tree, I leaned a ‘nativity’ matchbox scene, gifted to my husband by a friend at Starbucks. In front of the tiny nativity scene, I placed the Willow Tree angel nativity scene – Joseph, Mary with baby Jesus, a shepherd holding a sheep, and the ox and two lamb. These trees were for Jesus.

DSC_1038 jesus tree cropAnd although we didn’t have a huge artificial masterpiece with treetop touching the ceiling, the simplicity of the four trees became meaningful – each in their own way.

So Christmas isn’t about the ‘stuff’, it’s about what’s deep down in your hearts.

It’s about thanking God for everything he’s done for us, and giving up his SON for our sins.

It’s not about US.

It’s about paying it forward to others – in the form of a cup of coffee, opening a door for someone, helping them out with their medical bills, saying a kind word – whatever you can manage.

There’s a poem I discovered online called “The True Meaning of Christmas” by M. S. Lowndes. I’d like to share it with you. Please enjoy.

Jesus Christ was born this day
So many years before
He came a servant to the lost,

Though he was Lord of Lords
We celebrate this joyous time,
Reflecting on His birth
Not born in a mansion, but a stable
As if He had no worth
He came so He could identify
With the human heart of man
And gave His life as a sacrifice,
Offering a better plan
A plan that reconciles us back
To our loving Father God,
Bringing hope and redemption from
Sins ruling, iron rod
For this is the only reason that we
Should celebrate this day,
To become focused on anything else,
Would take the meaning away
So let’s arise with joy in our hearts
And share it with everyone
The meaning of Christmas will always be
The birth of Jesus – God’s son

Intangible Vacation – a poem (for the senses)

Last fall, I attended a Saturday Writer’s workshop by poet Kelli Allen.  Kelli asked each of us to ‘think outside the box’ and also add something to our poetry, that doesn’t quite fit.

Sorry it took so long to post, but this was one of the results from that day.

Folly Beach, SC after a storm

Folly Beach, SC after a storm

I call the poem “Intangible Vacation.”

Faded –

the coal black line

on the horizon.

Subsided –

remnants

of a tempestuous storm.

Eyes closed,

the pounding sea

delivers

synchronized waves

pushing boldly

towards me.

Eyes open,

a harvest of green and yellow

seagrasses…

The dunes roll gently

to the sand.

A runner jogs in time,

as twenty or more

seagulls rest,

basking in the golden sunrise,

reflecting from the wet,  yet powdery, shoreline.

The sky offers

Crème fraiche arms

gracefully outstretched

to envelope the atmosphere.

An Egytian sphinx

Appears in the cornflower blue space

between the clouds.

Wait.

Now it’s gone.

White birds soar,

Littering the sky

and float

like paper airplanes

above the teal-grey ocean.

I sit quietly,

relieved

that my body

and not my mind

took a much-needed

vacation…

 © Copyright February 2014, Sheree K. Nielsen

Serenade of the Sea

DSC00172My first thought was to take a trip to the local grocer for provisions for our week in North Carolina.  However, my Australian Shepherd had another plan in mind.

While sniffing around for a appropriate spot to do her ‘bizness’ last eve, I suppose the attraction of the sea air and the fragrant smell of magnolia beckoned her (and me) to cross the road, full of rental properties, to the beach access.

Before I could say Abracadabra, my curious canine stepped gingerly in the sand, sprinted up several steps, and hopped onto the weathered boardwalk.

I met a wonderful thirty-something couple at the lookout point.  They told me of their attraction to Sunset Beach.  No crowds, no worries – just total relaxation.

The guy admitted he wasn’t fond of people.

Enter a friendly dog with pair of ice blue eyes who adores humans.

In seconds, the young man dropped any personal walls and was shaking ‘paws’ with my Brina.

After the conversation drew to a close my animal child looked at the crashing waves, and gazed up at me with approval.  The corners of her mouth began to turn up.  Yes, dogs do smile.

And if she could’ve talked, I imagined she would have said, “C’mon Mom, let’s go!”

All it took was a look from Miss Brina, and I was racing down the beach.  With the wind blowing through my hair, I felt wispy as a seagull soaring overhead.

 The ocean has its mysterious way of drawing you in.  And then it wraps its gentle arms around you with her loving embrace.

Can’t wait to what surprises lie ahead.

But for now, I’ll am thankful for the moment….

Just published in “The Eleutheran 2012” – “Island Girl”

I was pleased and excited to receive an email today.  My essay “Island Girl” graced three pages of “The Eleutheran” print magazine as well as their online publication.  The story is about a special golden retriever I met on vacation last year with hubby.

“Island Girl” Lucky ; photo by Maggie Kappeler

Enjoy!

Sheree

Click on the link below

3019 The Eleutheran 2012 Island Girl