“Island Paradise”

An orange sky
presses
its faint shadow
of blue
into
the still gray sea
which yields no
shells today.

The natives walk
hunched
over coral sands
looking
for nonexistent
treasures
to be used
as decoration
for cheap
plastic pots
Chinese flip flops
strings
of shells
seeds and
wood chips
to be sold
as examples
of local native
art
when actually
they
are the only
products
the poverty-stricken
inhabitants
can afford
to make.

The orange sky
grays
to black
and absorbs
the becalmed sea.
The scavengers
pray
for wind
and rain
to release
undiscovered
gems
from
the grasp
of Poseidon.

Another day
ends
the same
as the day
before
and the day
to come.

Island life is not
the idyllic
paradise
of tourists
who prostrate
themselves
before
Apollo
hoping to
bring
their skin tone
and
karma
into harmony
with that
of the natives
never knowing
that life
surrounded
by the sea
is not
the barefoot
carefree
existence
they dream
of being rich
enough
to embrace
someday.

(Written for dVersePoets, Open Link Night 124. November 26, 2013.)

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This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to “Island Paradise”

  1. brian miller says:

    no it is not the gloss that is given for the visitors…its a life still…often dependent on the weather and what the ocean will give up to them today…their daily bread….

  2. Alex Dissing says:

    I recently moved to a new town & my house is less than a mile away from the beach. Your poem is too true; living by the ocean isn’t all it’s cracked out to be. It definitely loses its luster when you see it every day. I still can’t complain though 🙂

  3. Nara Malone says:

    I spent a month in living in a rural section of Hawaii. I got to see firsthand how hard that life can be, livings earned stringing bracelets from seeds and shells. Your poem does a good job of bringing that point home.

  4. I love all the imagery & the stories they tell. 🙂

  5. Mama Zen says:

    Wow. Marvelous work.

  6. Eric Alagan says:

    Most settings are great – as long as we can afford to walk away, I reckon

  7. ayala says:

    Yes, it’s not what the tourist see, it’s not carefree. Good capture.

  8. Tony Maude says:

    Most places have “what the tourists see” and reality – and they’re rarely closely connected. But when we’re on holiday, ew rarely take time to look beyond the surface to see what the idyll is built on.

  9. Ah, this one struck home. On a deep and resonating chord, even though I’m not from a tribe located near the ocean, it can still be said that many Native’s feel the suffering of having to pick through what’s been left over. The romance bubble that surrounds most Naive lifestyles does not fair well in reality. Thought provoking piece, one that I appreciate having read.

  10. The contrasts of the real life and the one the tourist sees (or want to see) is really well expressed… love the form of short lines.

  11. You’ve captured the reality of island life for those who live there. I like the contrast between the idyllic scene in the opening stanza and the harshness of poverty.

  12. poetrypea says:

    Feels like it came from the heart

  13. Gabriella says:

    I am with you. Often what the tourists see is quite different from what the inhabitants really experience on an everyday basis.

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