Riley McFarlane-Cobb

A Statue Sits by the Sea

“Nobody hears the sea anymore,” the old statue said to me, words grim. “They hear
waves and seagulls and the ocean breeze, of course, but nobody listens to what matters.”
“I don’t suppose you still hear it?” I asked, drawing my jacket closer to my body to hide from the cold winds.
“Of course. It sings in my very bones.”
I thought of asking if he had bones to begin with, underneath all that rust and rotten
seaweed, but decided against it.
“Is she a good singer?”
His solemn face broke into a soft smile, revealing what might have once been a happier statue of a happier man from happier times. “The best. She is fierce and demanding, stubborn and cruel, perhaps the most merciless being I have ever met.”
“She sounds awful.”
“She sounds human,” he corrected, tapping his crumbling hat. “But humans are not plain monsters either, are they?”
I shook my head.
“She can be gentle and kind. She pushes shipwrecks to shore and carries travelers home. She provides food for the needy and an escape for the restless. She welcomes everyone, but lets go of a mere few. She’s captured my heart and soul, after all.”
“But her singing,” I pressed, curious and eager. “How is her singing?”
“When she’s happy? Soft and sweet,” he sighed, metal fingers tracing the sand. “Like the brush of frothing waves.”
At his words, I drew my feet up as the bubbly white came near. “And when she’s angry?”
“Loud. Deafening, like claps of thunder and as blinding as the lightning that proceeds it. She refuses to be ignored and will drown the careless if they don’t heed her rage.”
“You describe her like a lover.”
He grew silent, staring out at the ocean as a spray of salt water followed the crash of a wave, the droplets landing on us. It slipped down his face, like a single tear had escaped the layers of copper and iron. “Perhaps it is wise that humans can no longer hear the sea,” he mused, eyes closing as the waves began to wash over us both. “They’d be all too content to drown.”

A Painted Sea

With violet hues of fading skies,
And softest blues where seagulls fly,
The waves of green and swirling whites
Meet cherry red of children’s kites
An orange sun as day grows dim
With yellow lights that slowly slim
Wisps of clouds, so pink and few,
To compliment your rosy hue
Palest grays of far off storms,
A nearing plight will take its form
A lovely moment made of oil
That time or reason cannot spoil
I hear the waves that call to me
From that simple canvas of painted sea

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