Dolphins in the Surf

Updated on September 17, 2019
Dean Traylor profile image

Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects including education and creative writing.



Do you recall

Surfing the surf

As dolphins came by

Rising and diving

From the darkest depths

To the highest white-capped waves?

They'd shoot through

Those waves

As if they

Were nothing,

While we took the brunt

Of the pounding force

Those waves

Had to offer.

They weaved,

In and out

Of discarded kelp,

And unknown jetsam;

Under our boards

And dangling feet.

And, do you recall,

They vanished for minutes,

Then, pop up for air,

Many yards down the bay.

They were incredible


They had strength

They had grace

They had

..... Freedom,

To face the unknown depths

And come out unscathed.

I wish I could see them now,

For they were a dream to behold;

The dream

to be free

and not


what the elements of life

will bring.

I wish you could have been

like those dolphins,

Free to be free

Of the chemo,

And the illness,

The worry,

The fear.

And not have to face your darkest hour

Alone, Afraid.

You slipped to the depths


I hoped you'd come out


But we're not dolphins

Just humans.

And now,

You're gone.

At nights I still dream

Of you and me,

Surfing the surf,

With those dolphins.

There, we can join them

Riding the breaking waves.

At least here,

we can be with them.

At least here,

You're still around

To catch those waves.

And taste the sweet water of life.


Not much to say

Often I have something to say about the poetry technique or style, or in other cases, I have a little antidote to accompany the poem. Not this time.

As mentioned, this was an elegy (or epitaph) that was used in his memorial service. It may have been nearly 10 years ago from this writing, but the words, the images associated with it, and the memories are still strong and raw to this day.

R.I.P. Kevin. You always knew the right waves to catch.

The Song he requested for his funeral

© 2014 Dean Traylor


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    • Dianadee profile image

      Diana Carol Abrahamson 

      5 months ago from Somerset West

      A beautiful poem sharing your deep emotions, of the loss of a close friend.

    • Adnan Afzal 526 profile image

      Raja Adnan Afzal 

      13 months ago from Rawalpindi, Pakistan

      I am really sorry to hear about your loss. I like the way you gave a tribute to your friend in that beautiful way.

      "I wish you could have been

      like those dolphins,

      Free to be free"

      May his soul rest in peace. Your friend will be proud of you. Well done.

    • Dean Traylor profile imageAUTHOR

      Dean Traylor 

      5 years ago from Southern California/Spokane, Washington (long story)

      Music video added. It was the one he requested and had played at his memorial service.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I am very sorry for your loss. A beautiful poem. The love you had for him is so palpable. What a privilege that he was your friend, and a privilege that you were his friend.

      God bless you.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a beautiful tribute to your friend. The imagery of the swimming dolphins and their freedom is lovely.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A wonderful tribute. Your friend would be looking down and very proud of this poem you wrote for him. Well done.


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