Poem: Board of Restless Wings

Updated on October 1, 2018
Mark Tulin profile image

Mark lives in California. He's a former therapist who treated several clients with hoarding behaviors. He reflects their lives in a poem.

I'm holding my board at Morro Bay.
I'm holding my board at Morro Bay. | Source

Inspiration for "Board of Restless Wings"

My water recreation in California consists mainly of bodyboarding and stand-up paddling in the bay and marina. When the big waves come (ten to twenty feet high and higher), I usually take a seat on my beach chair and watch the more experienced surfers or I get out my camera and head to the Mesa in Santa Barbara and take pictures of all the surfers from the edge of a cliff. I have much admiration for those supremely athletic surfers who could ride the big waves and make it look so effortless and fun. Note: All the pictures, including the ones in my YouTube version, come from the Mesa in Santa Barbara.

Poem: Board of Restless Wings

The board stays stable amidst

the chaos of the unpredictable

and the swirling sky

of the Gods of California.

The board glides with restless wings,

hovering above the water’s surface,

a waxed bird in the ocean of fairy tales.

The board has its own dialect

Its unique rhythm and movement

through a mind-body connection,

a balancing of the soul.

The board says:

Go with the rumbling swell

Ride me as long as you can

in the twisting, curling undertow.

The board is loose and free

by a single heartbeat,

characterized by an adventurous spirit,

surrounded by a fearless surge.

A process that will quickly unfold

surprising those who are ready

to stand upright on the tightrope

of hope and trust.

A dream that once seemed impossible,

a surfing pleasure ride,

barefooting in the clouds

above the sea of transformation.

Board of Restless Wings

Questions & Answers


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      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        14 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        A moving meditation. Great way to relax, too. Hope you try it, Nell.

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        14 months ago from England

        Awesome! I have never done surfing of any kind, but now I want to!

      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        15 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thank you, Tamara

      • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

        Tamara Yancosky 

        15 months ago from Uninhabited Regions

        A beautiful poem that is fully alive! ♥️

      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        15 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Being a therapist for years must have given me something, I suppose. Perhaps a little bit of wisdom and patience. Good point about the board—a metaphor for the soul. As always, Manatita, it’s a pleasure to hear your comments and to read your poems.

      • manatita44 profile image


        15 months ago from london

        Beautifully written, like the soul, the board want's to experience ... to be free.

        We have a film in our Centre on the Spirituality in surfing.

        I met the world champion once, maybe 15 years ago. A native hawaiian

        He came to meet my spiritual teacher and we showed one of his films. Breathtaking!

        Good to see you Mark. Your face is one of wisdom. God bless.

      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        15 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thank you, Kshipra for those kind words.

      • Kshipra Pal profile image

        Kshipra Pal 

        15 months ago

        Mark, such an awe inspiring poem! Also, that video at the end and the way you read it out and rendered it, gave me goosebumps!

      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        15 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Tim, I enjoyed your response to the poem. In fact, it sounded like a poem about my poem—freedom from the boardrooms and boarded up buildings. I’m honored by your input and your encouragement.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        15 months ago from U.S.A.

        Your voice and the lines you wrote, Mark, brought the calm and majestic Pacific Ocean to my laptop and to my soul. Board, waves, poem - an extension of the experience of being alive - finding freedom from the crashing waves of life, away from boardrooms, boarded up houses, climbing aboard that wonderful floating board.

        California dreaming on the East coast.

        To a master poet and writer,

        Much respect and admiration,



      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        15 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Sometimes I feel that I’m having more fun watching the surfers than they are surfing. Thank you, Chitrangada.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        15 months ago from New Delhi, India

        An enjoyable and well expressed poem!

        I enjoy watching the Sea waves and the surfers. I can imagine the thrilling experience, they have.

        Thanks for sharing this wonderful poem!

      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        15 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thank you, Maya. I’m glad you enjoyed.

      • mayaellenson profile image

        Maya Ellenson 

        15 months ago from Hobe Sound, Florida

        Mark, I really enjoyed your poem. You fully conveyed the magic of surfing board ride.

      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        15 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thanks, John. I think the board and the surfer need to have a good marriage.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        You describe the thrill of riding the waves so well Mark, and as though the board itself is controlling it. I love your reading of the poem especially.

      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        15 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thank you, Venus.

      • Venusmaritza profile image

        Venus Mary 

        15 months ago from Panamá

        You print with letters, the sensation of skiing in the water, in a poetic way, capturing all the scenes and emotions. I really liked your poem.

      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        15 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        I’ve been told it feels like flying but with a powerful force at your feet. Thank you, Peggy for stopping by.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        15 months ago from Houston, Texas

        I really liked your poem especially this line: "a waxed bird in the ocean of fairy tales." Surfing is something that I have never tried doing but I certainly admire the people that make it seem so simple. It must be quite the adrenalin rush when the waves are big.


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