Two people, both standing by the ocean—
one with a happy heart, the other with a wrenched soul;
one healed with hope, the other wounded with despair;
one with a free mind, the other tangled in black thoughts.

One sees love in the ocean; the other sees death.
One wants to laugh out loud, scream and run around;
The other miffed with unkind tears that left her alone
She holds a big knot in her throat

As waves form white ghosts with sharp, bright teeth.
Foam running from the corner of their mouths
hungry for a new prey; they run towards the sad heart,
like wild horses, stomping the ground,

Grabbing her ankles, pulling, pushing, the ghosts weed her from the ground,
slapping her with their white-gloved hands;
they chain her tight and pull her forward.
Then, scared sands give way, making a hole beneath her feet.

With sands’ cowardly action, the sad heart empties her faith.
She looks to the pale sun, a sun that lost its power to black force.
The horizon is empty of delight, its blank and grey eyes, scolding her,
the sea birds turned to vultures, looking starved, waiting for her death.

The blue ocean seems dark to the eyes of a disappointed heart.
The ocean bears no beauty but loss.
Ah—where is the courage to push her forward and strangle her in water?
She remains hopeless, filled with silence

But for the one with peaceful mind and happy heart
standing on the shore is ultimate joy;
the one watching birds, throwing out stones
Blessing her skin with the warm touch of sand

To her, the ocean is love, a source of relaxation
And the waves are angels, dancing towards her, opening
their wings, embracing her, inviting her to play with water.
The ocean depends on one’s state of heart and mind.

Life is like an ocean
in the eye of each beholder; living can be death or love.
Like the waves of an ocean, life can have two faces—
Sometimes turning to beastly ghosts, sometimes to plushy angels.

By Mahnaz

Photo by Barbara Eckstein