View from Ontario Beach Park


by Kitty Jospé


The lake under icy rain, roils to call

the tide may rise, the tide may fall—[1]

Life pulses on despite covid news

as waves crash and a lone gull mews—

pelleted by wind but holding his ground

above the crash of the thunderous sound

of waves as they crest and furl, rise and fall.


The wind whips the lake to roil and call

cresting, furling, my waves rise and fall

as we from the town observe the surge

of heaving waters, feel the wind’s scourge

driving ice-cuts of rain against our face.

We hasten to shelter to observe the place

livened by the roar, the roil, the crash;

it will continue when we are but ash—

but for this day, how lucky we feel—

to witness waves, the storm as real.




About this poem: 4/26/20. After over 6 weeks of mandated social distancing, we looked for places we could walk where we might not see too many people.  In this case, the wild weather of wind and sleet gave us a private time to watch the waves from the park and to venture out on the breakwater.  The feel of wind and sleet made us feel more real.  Confinement because of the Covid-19 pandemic seriously reduces a sense of connection to the outside world.



[1] Echo of the 1879 poem The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, written at the end of his life, at that point, twice a widower.


Kitty is a published author and poet and leads Poetry Oasis at the Central Library.  After years of teaching French, she turned to English, and received her MFA in creative writing in 2009.  Kitty`s blog, O Pen!, can be found here.