The Patient Sea

The poem “The Patient Sea”, and the two exclusive photo renderings that accompany it, are posted here for Sunday Scribblings offering for May 6, 2007.

The Patient Sea

Roaring in, the chest of the wave

slams the massive boulder.

The great stone rocks back,


With a deep thud,

more felt than heard,

it bumps solid against

the face of the cliff

to which it crowds.

As the spent wave recedes

the hulking mass settles again,

immovable as bedrock,

defying the next swell —

and the next, and the next…

But the sea is patient.

This steadfast giant,

in the ebb and flow of time,

will acquiesce,

becoming the grains of sand

upon which it now rests.

Rob Kistner © 2007


The two photo renderings included with “The Patient Sea” were captured and created by Rob Kistner. The top photo is of the Heceta Head lighthouse on the Oregon Coast. The bottom photo is of a September sunset at Indian Beach, also on the Oregon Coast. Both originals are giclée on dappled canvass.

“Lighthouse” measures 36″W x 46″H.
“September Sunset” measures 60″W x 24″H.

28 thoughts on “The Patient Sea”

  1. Hi Rob, I just began exploring your site, and your writing and art absolutely take my breath away. You have an incredible way of zeroing in on the feelings, sensations, and images in such a striking way. Thank you for sharing your deeply heartfelt gifts with us all.

  2. Clare – you are most gracious, thank you!

    I have always had a very direct, raw, and unfiltered connection to my feelings — and I have a vivid imagination, with 60 full years of free-living experience to stoke it. I love to write and create, so I simply allow my access to my inner self to flow unfiltered into my work.

    I am very pleased you enjoy my efforts, and humbled by your compliments.

    –and so it goes–

  3. Oh, just lovely, Rob! What a tremendous thing nature is, and specifically the ocean, that can turn a huge boulder into mere grains of sand… your pictures and poem relate this so well and so beautifully!

  4. You are most kind Regina.

    Yes, I am taken by the incredible, relentless, and awesomely beautiful nature of the ocean. A power so tangible that every walk along the Pacific, whether it be in the sunny breezes of summer, or the mighty storms of winter — fills me with wonder and energy that sustains me for days. I do love it!

  5. Juliet – the sea has many personalities, that’s what makes it magical!
    Glad you enjoyed my work.

  6. Rob-
    I loved this post, I have always found the Oregon Coast to be most inspiring. My husband & I lived there for 2 years and came away completely transformed..

    Thanks for the kind words on my post…


  7. Glad you enjoyed this post Jennifer.

    The Oregon Coast absolutely does have the power to transform.

  8. I liked the poem. Great title too.

    “This steadfast giant,

    in the ebb and flow of time,

    will acquiesce..”

    Don’t we all?

    Your creations are awesome!

  9. My friend Gautami, I like when you visit — and I am pleased you enjoyed this piece.

    Yes, we all must acquiesce — eventually. That is the nature of the Great Mandala.

  10. Rob,
    Your poem is so thought-provoking and wonderfully expressed. I love the idea of “the chest of the wave” in particular. I can see the powerful metaphor for life that you mentioned in your comment on my own post. So often too the pounding of the waves is felt but not heard, as you say. As someone who is only just learning to listen to my inner self, I am inspired by your vision and creative intuition. Thank you!

    (p.s. the images are great too…i’d never heard of giclée before so a quick Wikipedia trip was undertaken, and now I am a little more “in the know”!)

  11. Thank you Rose!

    I had this image of two massive athletes doing a thundering chest bump as is often seen these days in pro and collegiate sports.

    The sense of feeling the great boulder thud against the cliff was relating actual experiences my wife and I have every time we visit Indian Beach, on the Oregon Coast. That is the bottom picture in my post.
    We go sit way out on the massive rocks at the south edge of the beach, not seen in my photo rendering. It’s the perfect place to catch the sea spray when the waves pound and crash into these behemoths.

    When you’re seated, you can feel the waves move the gargantuan stones ever so slightly, and you feel, not hear, but feel them bump. It’s a remarkably deep and penetrating sensation.

    Now, if you encounter a circle of artists or art lovers, and you hear someone say giclée — you can make a knowledgeable remark. You might just want to insert giclée in an appropriate place in an upcoming conversation — just to impress. 🙂

    We all can learn something new every day — and the truly wise among us, do. Isn’t life wonderful!

  12. Thank you Patois! You are very kind.

    I felt the same regarding these two photo renderings as I searched through the archives of photos I’d taken at the coast over the years.

    I appreciate that you noticed.

  13. Powerful post. Thank you. I love your description of the “deepness” of the sounds of the waves–so deep as to be felt more than heard. Wonderful.
    I also enjoyed your photo artworks!

  14. The ocean is such a big thing. I just love the tiny lighthouse. And the chest hitting the rocks is a neat juxtapostion to the painting- intensionally or not.

  15. I was going for scale when I pulled back to minimize the lighthouse, as well as the sun in the bottom photo. I am pleased you appreciated that Ren — thank you!

  16. Rob,
    Patient persistance, that is the ocean. I feel a lesson to be learned here. 😉
    Really good poem, and the art work is superb; something my brother would appreciate!
    Thanks for stopping by to visit.
    I’ll be back.

  17. Yes rel, we could all benefit from a little more patience and persistence in today’s world.

    I appreciate your kind words, and I enjoyed my visit to your site. I will return.

  18. Beautiful poem: I like the “battle of giants” feel to it – a little like a mythological song.
    Lovely pictures too: I particularly like the second one; its colours are amazing.

    Thanks for visiting my little merman and fighting your way through the French.

  19. Thank you Spacedlaw! It is the classic struggle between the immovable and the persistent. Persistent always wins!

    If you think the colors in the photo are striking, you should have been there the evening I was doing the shoot. My wife, our friends, the cliffs behind us — the entire world visible to us was aglow in a brilliant golden warmth.

    It was so amazing that evening, I sometimes found my self staring over my camera instead of through the lens. I almost missed the “flair” when the sun meets the sea line — but I caught it, thankfully.

    I enjoy your site, and it was a pleasurable challenge trying to remember my limited French. It’s been 42 years since I studied it in school, and 25 years since I’ve attempted it in conversation.

    In the early 80’s I imported Ligne Roset contemporary furniture out of Leon, France and B&B Italia out of Novedrate, Italy. I spoke no Italian, and only marginal French — but we all made it work.  😉

  20. Dear Rob,

    Thank you very much for guiding me to your ocean sanctuary. This is enchanting, your words brought me there. And with you, I commune with nature, bathe by the gifts of natural beauty. I am with you as I read this poem sharing your reverence to your ethereal sanctuary. What more, the wisdom in your words are enlightening and enriching.
    This is a great read, Rob. Your works once again gave me inspiratios and great ideas.

    I have to mention the images are equally beautiful, they compliment your words.

    Note: I have not been regularly logging in my web nook because my father died last thursday morning at 2:10 AM Philippines time. Please read my post:

    I am set to come home today.

    That’s the reason it’s only now that I got the chance to reply to the comments you left in my “over the horizon” entry. I am honored by your visit.

    Thanks again, Rob.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

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