Going Off (Draft 1)

Going Off (Draft 1)

If you’ve gone off to seek a beach
take the care road to the shells
and toe in the water

listen for an ocean sound, but
if there be rain, let it be musical:
a pitter-clap and applause.

If be there sun
let it not burn though

if there be fog
let the fog horn be
triumphant like a fanfare, but

I’m not sure what do about the grasshoppers —
maybe chocolate.
(not sure if grasshoppers like chocolate)

For every breeze, a sail;
for every sail, a ship;
for every ship, a destination.

For a destination

— Douglas Gilbert


3 thoughts on “Going Off (Draft 1)

  1. I love it! I’m going to think about this while i’m driving for good vacation vibes. It will have to be an amazing getaway with words like this dancing through my head when i hit the road. And what a great way to start the day too, an ocean travel poem and a nice strong cup of coffee. I like the pitter clap and applause. The grasshoppers line made me giggle…yep, i’d better remember to pack some chocolate for them, i wonder if they prefer milk chocolate or dark chocolate? But honestly, i think i like the ending four words the best – you’re the perfect destination.

    1.     Thanks very much. I think the grasshopper likes milk chocolate because he can share it with the industrious ant like in the story of “The Grasshopper and the Ant.” The ants will show him how to save for the winter. Have a great vacation.
          I was puzzled over how to do the capitalization because I felt like some of the stanzas should be separate, but the thoughts kept going and so there shouldn’t be much of a pause. I kept thinking that the first two stanzas were like one sentence, but I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t. But then I saw that all I had to do was add the word “to” and then it would be, and I could use a small letter for the second stanza because it would legitimately be part of the first:

      If you’ve gone off to seek a beach
      take the care road to the shells
      and toe in the water to

      listen for an ocean sound, but
      if there be rain, let it be musical:
      a pitter-clap and applause.

          I guess I could have seen that if I had outlined a simpler form: If you’ve gone to seek, take care to listen, but let it be musical. Well, maybe, sort of, that’s the basic sentence structure. Although, since it’s still a poem, the sentence structure doesn’t have to be perfect. Well, anyway, I’m trying to see what makes something hold together better. Sometimes it helps to know this when something doesn’t seem quite right. Well, that’s one small thing for a second draft. Other than that, it might be finished. Not sure… it’s a little vague… maybe that’s OK.
          I wasn’t happy originally with the “Let it be” business — too pompous, but I think the grasshopper joke tones it down enough. Maybe it worries me because I didn’t spend much time on it — it just came out of one of my comment rambles. I guess, maybe, it can be easy sometimes and still be OK.

      1. I like the addition of the word ‘to’ – it does connect those two stanzas together better. Overall i don’t think it needs anything else unless some wonderful idea pops out from nowhere and fits like a puzzle piece. I didn’t think it seemed pompous. I know what you mean though, some of my favorite poems i’ve written are the short little ones that i didn’t spend a whole lot of time on. i always thought they needed more just because i didn’t spend much time, but after a while i got used to it and couldn’t imagine it any other way.
        I’m excited about the trip, but also a little nervous, i guess because it’s a far way from home. But thank you, i’m sure it will be a great vacation – there’s only one thing (or someone) that could make it any better…

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