We had a wonderful day-long writing workshop near Monterey Bay today. I have been writing all day and to tell the truth am about written out. But I also did sit all day looking out the window at salt water and wheeling gulls. Which reminded me of this Russell Hoban poem for children. Anyone who has loved Bread and Jam for Frances and the other picture books by him and his wife, Lillian, will understand how thrilled I was to find this tonight!
Old Man Ocean
Old Man Ocean, how do you pound
Smooth glass, rough stones round?
Time and the tide and the wild waves rolling
Night and the wind and the long gray dawn.
Old Man Ocean, what do you tell,
What do you sing in the empty shell?
Fog and the storm and the long bell tolling,
Bones in the deep and the brave men gone.
Russell Hoban from The Pedalling Man, Heineman,1991
Interesting little form here: first two lines of each stanza rhyme, and last two lines of each stanza rhyme with the same line in the other stanza. Little architectural structures like this make the poem more convincing.