“Look at that seascape. Just like the beach back home.” I stepped closer, sure I could smell the tang of salt in the air. I admired the whorls in the paint that gave life to the waves.

“Tall Ship on a Lonely Sea,” read Meg. 

Indeed, there it was, silhouetted in the darkening sky, a lone star twinkling above.

“I must go down to the sea again…” I whispered the first line of the poem. 

As though this was a key, the frame clicked open. We peered through the doorway and smiled in delight at the perfect beach before us.

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Julie Harris
Julie Harris (@julie-harris)
1 month ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

Carrie, you just made my day. “Sea Fever” was one of my father’s favorite poems, which he could recite at the drop of a hat, even when he was 95! My sister and I also learned it by heart. When I read your incredible story, I tested myself to see if I could still recite the entire thing. Thanks for the link so I could check myself! I only missed “flung spray and the blown spume”. I learned the first line as “I must go down to the sea again,” singular, like you have in your story, even though the link uses the plural “seas”. I also learned the last line as “when the long trek’s over”. Trek as in trip. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this story!

This is now one of my very favorites of your stories. Not only do we get the incredible painting, and the incredible poem, but a bit of magic as a special treat. I wish I could give this five likes. Bravo!

Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary (@emily-oleary)
1 month ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

I always love how beautifully you weave your own imagination with things you’ve seen or read in the past! You tie them together with such ease and your research is always spot on.

Love the picture you paint in our minds with even such a short piece!

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
1 month ago

The poem in your story took me back to my school days, Carrie. I entered the poetry reading competition and came in 2nd after the girl who read ‘Sea Fever’. All I can remember about my poem was that it involved worms! So absolutely no chance there! But I will never forget the beautiful winning poem. This is a lovely, magical story and you are to be congratulated on what you achieved with the photograph. Well done!

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
1 month ago

Carrie, the picture that you used already drew my attention. When I saw it I thought it looked mystical, like it held some secret. I loved your story, especially the magical ending! I wasn’t familiar with the poem, thank you for sharing the link. It is beautiful. Well done on a great story.

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei (@margarida-brei)
1 month ago

A great reference to the 1902 poem “Sea Fever” by John Masefield. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to utter phrases that opened up new worlds?

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

Hello, Carrie. Thanks for sharing the link. This is my first reading of this poem (Sea Fever). And I love it. I also love and enjoy reading your story until the end. You’ve got all the talent of a great writer. Well done.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

You are welcome, Carrie.

Juma
Juma (@juma)
5 days ago

I really love this story, Carrie. I’m very familiar with the poem, and I love the touch of magic at the end. Nice use of the prompt and the one hundred words!

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
4 days ago

I have to confess that I am one of those readers who never had read or heard about Masefield’s wonderful poem. Thanks for enlightening me. I really enjoyed all three parts here, also the amazing picture and, of course, your story with the inspirational idea of the picture opening up as a
“Sesame” while saying the first words of the poem. Great writing!

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