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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2020 - Vol. 17, Issue 4

"Ode to Oceans Symphony" and "Gentle Woman"

written by

C.A. Francis

On A Rocky Crag

Your waves of steel rumble as they crash against the craggy shoreline.

Not in gentleness, just the continuous booming of your brine.

Thundering, as loud cymbals clashing, they smother all sound.

So deafening is the battle of waves and surf, the silence profound.

Your grey and blue waves smash and tumble over boulders and coral.

The colors of your breakers, churn and swirl, as if in a quarrel.

Watching the tempest of your might, I ponder what wonders you could hold.

You curl and attack, as a viper ready to strike, your power so cold.

Please, no more tumult should be born, while I take this season to grieve.

As white foam of the briny sea smacks against the rocks, I turn and leave.

On A Boat

You bend and roll, tall and regal, yet malleable, you surge, with power.

Rolling swells, soar effortlessly as they rise into a water tower.

On this vast and mysterious voyage, I start the journey of life.

With your gentle swelling rolls, you help smooth out my moments of strife.

With hypnotic fashion they glide, a peaceful movement in the ocean.

How glorious your waves, they roll in a continuous motion.

Dolphins, turtles, and whales rampant through your ever changing world.

Your limitless ripples and swells abound, my thoughts become unfurled.

The solitude of your cerulean expanse, creates a place to heal.

Oh beautiful sea of blue and green, with you I can begin to feel.

On A Beach

Your white sand shimmers in the heat, tendrils of sea-foam caress the beach.

Softly they creep up the powdery texture, fingers unfurling to reach.

I wander along your shore, marveling at the splendor of tumbling waves.

I hear the echo of time, as the sea pours in and out of the caves.

Seagulls caw, swoop and plunge into your salty brine, knowing you sustain them.

You curl and crest, the resonance of your song quiets the minds in mayhem.

You have always been the source of all life, and even at times of death.

It’s never easy to be a creation that can steal another’s breath.

You remain always constant, a glorious design of this world’s start.

Thank you for giving me the stillness I yearned for, restoring my heart.

Gentle Woman

Cold as winter snow that will never melt,

a despair of hearts that will always be felt.

Hands worn and tough, yet soft and loving.

You lie so peacefully on the couch, still living.

Inhale, exhale, we sit with anxious anticipation,

eyes flutter, a smile lifts the corner of your mouth.

Slowly you inhale, and then, everything stops:

Our eyes close,


fill to the brim, then,


How this joyous woman with a heart so bold,

left this world, as she lived her life. She had broken

the mold of what is truth and right,

stars of silver and gold, for when we did as told,

stars of blue and red, when we decided to be bold.

Hair black then silver and white, brown eyes twinkle,

she watches us all with wisdom, love, and pride.

Never, did she try to stop, the laugh lines wrinkle.

She claimed winter as her own, we always knew

God, and family, but most important, to herself,

Christmas, was always a time to become new.

I walk in the winter day, and feel a fresh start to a new life.

I take a cleansing breath, in the cold crisp air,

then, as I let out the air in a plume of vapors, I feel

the ugliness inside of me disappear.

Mother, grandmother, great grandmother, all of these are parts

of the Gentle Woman, who went home, and left us her heart.

When C.A. Francis isn't writing poetry and short fiction, she's traveling the world. She and her husband spend their summers vacationing in the Tetons or Yellowstone National Park and in the winter they are avid cruisers. Exploring the mountains and cruising between islands while watching the waves rise and fall in the ocean fuel her imagination.

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