Holding Hands

They were standing,
backs towards me,
at the edge of the tide
looking out over the waves.

They were oblivious
to my presence;
I was watching
through binoculars
from some distance away

so could do nothing
when they took off their clothes,
kissed, held hands,
his right, her left,
and walked
straight out
into the sea.


45 Responses to “Holding Hands”

  1. Hi David,

    The end leaves room for speculation: Did they came back to the shore ? First time I read, I thought they might want to do something drastic, esp. because you could do nothing. That makes it very dramatic. Suicide by drowning is very difficult to do I think, and to do it together… So sad! If this is a real event, it must have been horrible.

    I like to think they just went for a romantic swim though.
    As then this reminds me of a special moment in my life, I do hope no one was watching then, *grin* but it is a very good and lovely poem šŸ™‚

    Much love and a big hug,


    • Hi Ina,

      In this case I am being deliberatel ambiguous – leaving it up to the reader to decide šŸ™‚

      And it sounds like I brought back a good memory to you šŸ™‚

      Much love and a big hug to you too


  2. What a lovely poem!

    I wonder if they were simply in love and oblivious not only to you, but to everyone or just having a dare for fun, or both! šŸ™‚

    Love you lots



  3. PS I was thinking about a dark side to this too, but I think, in that instance clothes wouldn’t be an issue, so I will stick with the happy version šŸ™‚


  4. Vera Hazelgrove Says:

    yes! I prefer to stick to the happy version too,
    though admittedly you managed to make it sound very dramatic šŸ™‚

    Vera& Karley

  5. Given the comments on here so far, and on Facebook, and not wishing anybody to be upset, I do perhaps need to make it clear that this poem is metaphor – not a description of an actual event.


    • A metaphor, thanks for explaining, maybe that means it is fiction, or perhaps it is a metaphor for escaping, or for true love, or the “I ” seeing himself escape with his true love… There is a lot to read in this poem really. šŸ™‚ The “I “has a role in the whole, so what he sees, is probably about him. A longing for a true love to die with.
      (I am not good with metaphors )

  6. Ah,, people being truly wild & free despite what the world might think (: A liberating poem (:

  7. I like this poem very much and I really like the ending – or no ending. There are so many ways this could have turned out and so many different tales of the three of them – the one observing and the two holding hands. Wonderful read. šŸ™‚

    • Thank you Susan,

      Good to see you here. I will be along later to read your latest. I am always delighted when you post on WordPress – I am inclined to miss things on Facebook.


  8. I remember a similar time!!! I hope none had binoculars!! LOL I can see it all, and think it so sweet!! Great write David!! (((Hugs)))

  9. Nice poem as usual.

    Are you a peeping tom David šŸ˜†
    You should have went down and lifted all their clothes šŸ™‚

  10. lol …. shame! really ….. couldn’t you put the binoculars down? *smiles* just a teasin’ …. freedom in motion, that is. my biologist dr. cousin thinks clothing and it’s originations are for the purpose of birth control. but i feel one could argue the opposite …

  11. David,

    I’m behind in reading, so I decided to do it backward and catch up sporadically on older posts while commenting on current ones as they appear. *sighhh*

    This is a delicious take on “walking into eternity”, and I do remember reading it before–still a treat.

    Maybe they know, too, that the night is starry long. *smile*

    Hope you are well. Colors are splashed about the fields and woods here. It is a lovely year for Autumn.

    Much love,

    • Shirley,

      Don’t you worry about ‘catch up’. It is just a pleasure to have you visiting again.

      And you are right, there are shades of ‘walking into eternity’ in this one šŸ™‚

      It was posted some time ago on MySpace so I am pleased you remember it.

      Autumn is patchy over here. We need some frost and some sunshine to really bring out the colours in the trees. I plan to go out with my camera tomorrow to see what I can discover in the park. šŸ™‚

      Much love

  12. Hi David,

    I do very much like this poem.
    It has a gentleness that I appreciate.
    What was a peaceful scene becomes a view into something far more personal and intimate. That moment despite not being able to look away opens up another world, another possiblitly through these lovers.
    I personally take it to mean freedom.
    There is a strange but beautiful freedom in being with another and oblivious to the world.
    I’m glad all my shenanigans were at night! šŸ™‚

    I confess I couldn’t help but giggle at the confuson the poem caused. I know, it’s very naughty of me. *sheepish grin*
    Being someone who lives in metaphors it never occured to me it was a literal re-telling.
    Then again I’ve had my fair of frustration of people taking many of my poems too litterally. I wish I had the life I write about! *LOL*

    I hope your week has been a pleasant one so far.

    and K’sOTC

    • Hi Tikarma,

      I am smiling at your giggle. Although, as I do write a number of observational poems, I think the confusion was understandable. And the poem was certainly not meant to leave anyone upset.

      It is about freedom and the ending is ambiguous because we do not know, whether we are in that freedom or merely observing it, what the end will be. Thus I leave the reader to speculate šŸ™‚

      ‘They parted and walked off opposite ends of the beach’ would not have hacked it!! *Grin*

      I have had a really good week so far, but wonder why invitations all crop up on the same day!!! Bit like buses I suppose šŸ™‚

      and K’sOTC

      • Hi David,
        I won’t say more expect that my giggle was with you not at those who found themselves upset. Absolutely it’s never nice when your intentions in poem cause another distress.

        I do agree with you too that the ambigious ending is necessary. It is the nature of freedom to be uncertain. It couldn’t have been any other way. šŸ™‚

        I’m glad you’ve had a good week so far. Invitiations and buses are most certainly like that. They either don’t come or you keep missing them or they all come at once. šŸ™‚

        I hope the good week continues into a very good weekend for you. šŸ™‚

        and K’sOTC

      • Ah, I did know that Tikarma.

        Usually I maintain that a poem is what it says to the reader, but this time I did feel the need to explain just a little bit.
        Although it will be included in my new book – so what a reader will make of it there will be completely out of my control. šŸ™‚

        My plan for today was to get out with my camera, but at the moment there is uniform greyness outside my window. Tomorrow perhaps šŸ™‚

        and K’sOTC

  13. This is such an interesting poem! I don’t know how you managed it, but it made me feel both calm and anxious at the same time; the image is both lovely and disturbing. This could be a beautiful moment for the couple, oblivious to the watcher, or it could be the opposite, leaving the watcher (or the reader) wondering what should be done in such a situation. Should the alarm be raised? Or should we just smile and feel a little envious? Very subtle and cleverly done.

    • Thank you BH,

      This poem was written some years ago. Like so many of my poems it was written for me, when I was trying to make sense of conflicting emotions of peace and anxiety.

      I could receive no better compliment on the poem than that those conflicting emotions conveyed them selves to you.


  14. Christine Lanham Says:

    Absolutely beautiful…..I can see it.

  15. were they swimming or…..not? the feeling that “you could do nothing ” feels as though they were not going to survive….a deeply thought provoking poem my friend

  16. As others have observed, it’s the ambiguity at the heart of this poem that does the trick: what are they doing, and should we feel calm or anxious? The poem leaves these questions perfectly unresolved. Tantalising!

  17. Youth becomes fascinating when you outgrow it…so much energy expended on such pointless if imaginative behavior…

  18. I love this, David (even though I’m an avowed non-swimmer) and the intriguing picture you paint. Wish I had their courage!

  19. I loved this David. I tend to think a little more on the dark side with this one and that they walked in and never came back. It was almost like when you see a movie or read a book and they give you the ending first. Then the rest of the movie or book is how they got to that point. So my mind started thinking of how they got there and how this person must feel watching wondering why they made this choice.

    How amazing what a few lines of something so well written could invoke into someone’s imagination. šŸ™‚

    • Thank you Paula,

      What a wonderful comment – I love it when one of my poems provokes this much thought.
      And, of course, there is a whole back story about how they got to that point šŸ™‚


  20. At first, I thought the couple might be offing themselves. Then, I considered that’s a ridiculous way to off yourself especially if you can swim. So I think they were just gonna skinny dip which is nice. Walking into the ocean is a metaphor for dealing with life and it’s nice when someone is by your side holding your hand. Cool!

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