Diane Hine

(25 July 1956)

Redgate Beach (A Villanelle)


Between opposed currents, it's easy to slip,
though a safety sign stands at Redgate Beach.
I pay no heed and swim into a rip.

Hooded plovers skip the sea's frothy lip,
which lisps an ebullient welcoming speech.
Between opposed currents, it's easy to slip.

A sand-laden gust flays shins like a whip.
A seagull forewarns with a wind-tossed screech.
I pay no heed and swim into a rip.

Effervescence spills as blue waves unzip.
Broken shells in tide swept scallops gleam peach.
Between opposed currents, it's easy to slip.

In lime-weeded rock pools, olive crabs nip.
Against Isaac's Rock, great rollers full breach.
I pay no heed and swim into a rip.

Undertow deceives with a fluid grip.
Toe-anchoring bottom drops out of reach.
Between opposed currents, it's easy to slip.
I pay no heed and swim into a rip.

Submitted: Sunday, November 11, 2012
Edited: Monday, November 12, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

There are two permanent rips at Redgate Beach, but this account is fictional.

Comments about this poem (Redgate Beach (A Villanelle) by Diane Hine )

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  • Danny Draper (11/25/2012 3:48:00 PM)

    A generous surf of surging poetic beauty in a form that like sets of waves stays true to form to inundate and carry the reader in a long shore drift to danger and descriptive delight. (Report) Reply

  • Chandra Thiagarajan (11/25/2012 8:34:00 AM)

    Though the poem is said to be fictional your wild imagination makes one's blood creep. Such a wonderful
    Villanelle adhering strictly to the rules laid down with five tercets and a final quatrain and the rhyme scheme.I enjoyed your beautiful write. Thanks and best wishes,
    Chandra Thiagarajan (Report) Reply

  • Veeraiyah Subbulakshmi (11/22/2012 8:39:00 AM)

    It is really very hard to swim in the sea, particularly when the waves are rough and unpredictable! I love swimming and this poem too! (Report) Reply

  • Thomas A Robinson (11/20/2012 8:02:00 AM)

    I used to swim to rattlesnake Island by using rip currents to get there and another to get back.
    A favorite place for sharks to hang out always made it exciting to swim (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (11/12/2012 9:20:00 AM)

    So glad this is fictional Diane, a very dangerous thing to do I am sure. Your poem captures the foolhardiness of ignoring such dangers. Very well penned. (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (11/11/2012 9:41:00 PM)

    Your ebullient and adventurous dip into the rip makes me petrified! Watching the roaring currents from far is exciting, but being in it is alarming! ! ! ! Diana, the movement of the poem is as musical as the music of waves! ! An enjoyable write! (Report) Reply

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