Seaside Village

by Harry Roddy

What is it we see when we’re captured by pictures taken of the sea? Sunny Aegean or Mediterranean fishing village nestled in a cove overlooking a bag of diamonds sparkling in a blue mist, houses cloistered and precipitously layered, seemingly carved into the cliffs by millennia of wind and rain. Tourists line those cliffs and suck those houses in, all their losses willed into a billowing hate of their London, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Rouen. What do we want, what do we yearn for as we stand gazing at the porthole of the frame? To be there, yes, for our lives to be different, better, but also to be lost in the maze of its medieval architecture, hands trailing the cool adobe walls as the aromas of oregano, marjoram, thyme, lavender, of fish frying in garlic, basil, tomatoes and olive oil suffuse us. We want to lose ourselves in those sensual smells, to become part of that place, to throw ourselves down into those glittering shoals, to drown in that crystalline water and have our bodies smashed against the shoreline rocks, our blood bathing the beach, seeping into the sand so that we will never have to leave. 

Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego

Harry Roddy received his MFA in Poetry and Poetry Translation from Drew University. His translations of German poetry have appeared in The Massachusetts Review, New England Review, No Man’s Land and Sakura Review. He lives in Mobile with his family, where he is Associate Professor of German at the University of South Alabama.


For me this piece captures an essence that combines angst, desire and celebration. It brings to mind a passage from Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798 by William Wordsworth

...more like a man / Flying from something that he dreads, than one / Who sought the thing he loved.
Victor Sandiego, Apr 07, 2018