Five Days in Paradise


In case you were wondering why some of my most recent poems were about the ocean and nature, it is because My Beloved and I were on a mini-vacation at our favorite B&B. It’s very close to the beach and from our room we could hear the ocean waves. We loved experiencing their power and majesty and at bedtime being lulled to sleep by them. My Beloved took the photo of my that I will probably use as my new author’s photo. You may recall that my last one was shot at nearly the same spot last year, but this one is more of a close-up, which I believe author’s photos tend to be.

We had one of our best vacations ever. The waves got as high as twenty feet tall, though we kept missing the tallest ones when taking photos. We spent delightful days in Carmel-by-Sea, Pacific Grove, and Monterey, walked along the beach, drove for miles experiencing  some of the most glorious seascapes we’ve ever experienced.

Two of my most recent poems were especially inspired by this vacation:

Forty Feet above the Sea

I stare from a small wall

Forty feet above the sea

It stands as a lonely sentinel

Protecting the unsuspecting

From an ugly plunge to a beautiful

Rugged boulder-strewn beach.

The merciless surf

Pounds unyielding jagged rocks

The latter gives no quarter

Breaking up the attack

Forcing even the mightiest waves

To eventually retreat

Regroup then strike again.

I never tire of experiencing

Such epic battles.

Though it seems the rocks

Win each day,

The waves are patient,


It seems only a matter of time,

Eons perhaps,

Before the waves win,

Grind the great boulders

Into tiny grains of sand.

But perhaps instead

Several centuries from now

The sea may recede,

Surrendering at least for a time.

Then the boulders

Will reclaim their brethren

From the briny depths.

I think such thoughts

And wonder at the spectacle

As I stand at a small wall

Forty feet above the sea

Knowing I will be long dead and gone

Returned to my own ashes and dust

Before the answer

As to which will be the victor

Is revealed.


Salty Paradox

How can something as loud and violent

As powerful pounding waves

Crashing on jagged rocks

Make me feel so calm and peaceful?

Could it be the salt in the sea

Calling to the salt from the sea in me?

With Love,


© Copyright 2016 Russ Towne

All Rights Reserved

With Love,


© Copyright 2016 Russ Towne

All Rights Reserved

About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
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29 Responses to Five Days in Paradise

  1. Avery beautiful looking spot Russ! ❤
    Diana xo

  2. Mrs. P says:

    I was in that area the last time I came to California. What I really liked about the restaurants in the area, even the simplest ones, was the huge double windows that were open inviting all the fresh ocean breeze to dine with me. Yep, I was happy! 😀 😀 I can see how you love this place!

    • russtowne says:

      Yes, the views from the restaurants’ windows are often stunning, especially at sunset.

      • Mrs. P says:

        Have not seen a sunset yet…some day I will plan to do it, but not this trip.

        • russtowne says:

          Sunsets along the West Coast can be glorious. I hope you’ll have the opportunity to experience one soon. My Beloved and I once sat for about an hour watching the sun late in the day. We were the only ones in the area and we had wonderful seats. After the finale, when we got up to leave and looked behind us we were surprised to see many people had quietly, respectfully, perhaps reverently, come up to sit behind us to also enjoy another of nature’s many wonders without doing anything to disturb what they could tell was a very special experience for us. Their consideration made the moment even more magical.

  3. A well-deserved rest for both of you. Charley and I were there last year in April. Are the monarchs still nesting in Pacific Grove? And I love the pictures!

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Claremary. Yes, the Monarchs are still nesting in Pacific Grove. They tend to be there from November through February. We visited their sanctuary and were delighted by their grace and beauty, multiplied by the many hundreds or thousands.

      • We were there in April, so we walked the grove but they were already waiting for us to come home. they should begin their journey soon.

        • russtowne says:

          We were lucky to set a coupe of very knowledgeable docents who happily shared all kinds of interesting facts about the butterflies. For example Monarchs fly about 15 MPH normally but during their mating ritual they zoom to about 35 MPH. We saw a lot of zoomers. We were also told Monarchs are poisonous to all predators in the U.S. due to their Milkweed diet (though one species of bird in another part of the word has figured out Monarchs are edible if they only eat the body not the wings.) I had no idea…

  4. Ahhhhhhhh…….I could enjoy a spot like that Russ! 🙂

  5. *sigh* The photos and the poems are lovely. 🙂

  6. Mustang.Koji says:

    Carmel is so beautiful, Russ. That’s where the first honeymoon was. I think the place was called “Tickle Pink” or something like that, with a similar view but up higher if my brain cells from almost 40 years ago are still somewhat functioning. And I loved this:

    “It stands as a lonely sentinel

    Protecting the unsuspecting

    From an ugly plunge to a beautiful

    Rugged boulder-strewn beach.”

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