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Dolphins in the Surf

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

The poems inspired by this poem

  • Poetry for a Fallen Friend - a Villanelle
    There's a poem I have trouble reading. It's not do to the wording; instead it's because the emotions and memories it conjures gets in the way. This a Villanelle about an epitaph for a friend.

© 2014 Dean Traylor

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