Lessons of the Ocean (Sandcastle 15.07)

Seagull flying


What I had come to the ocean to learn
is not what the ocean chose to teach.
I stood on the shore and stared at the blue
horizon well out of reach.

I curled my toes in grains of sand
and turned toward the salt-kissed breeze.
But voiceless it whispered in unlearned tongues,
dark secrets from the deeps.

What I had come to the ocean to learn
was balance and peace of mind.
The laughing gulls in circling flocks
teased, “That, you’ll never find!

You’ve come to the bay for peace, you say?
You think it’s hidden in the sands?
Inside a shell, under stones, or across
the waters to distant lands?”

I thought the blue could cure me
in this sacred, ancestral place.
I thought my stress would wash away
as easily as footprints erase.

But what I had come to the ocean to learn
is not what the ocean taught.
I turned my back to the salty sea
And went elsewhere to find what I sought.


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I'm an award-winning fantasy author, artist, and photographer from La Porte, Indiana. My poetry, short fiction, and memoir works have been featured in various anthologies and journals since 2005, and several of my poems are available in the Indiana Poetry Archives. The first three novels in my Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series have received awards from Literary Titan.

After some time working as a freelance writer, I was shocked by how many website articles are actually written by paid "ghost writers" but published under the byline of a different author. It was a jolt seeing my articles presented as if they were written by a high-profile CEO or an industry expert with decades of experience. I'll be honest; it felt slimy and dishonest. I had none of the credentials readers assumed the author of the article actually had. Ghost writing is a perfectly legal, astonishingly common practice, and now, AI has entered the playing field to further muddy the waters. It's hard to trust who (or what) actually wrote the content you'll read online these days.

That's not the case here at On The Cobblestone Road. I do not and never will pay a ghost writer, then slap my name on their work as if I'd written it. This website is 100% authentic. No outsourcing. No ghost writing. No AI-generated content. It's just me... as it should be.

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