Without You: A poem by Mike Cole

You were the tide as the waves came to shore

And as the waves lapse, it makes me sad that I can’t see you anymore.

Your ship is now far out at sea

No lighthouse to guide you, no place to be.

Perhaps there is land beyond my horizon,

But for now, I must wait, on this sandy shore.


To end the month of April, a poem about my father. Here, I conjure up images of a life that was never meant to be, of a past best left forgotten. My father was a sailor for most of his life, taking to the sea to escape the realities of everyday life. I never was one much for sailing but can understand why my father loved it so much. There is something freeing about being on the open water, an experience I yearn for as I try not to be trapped by the mundane. My father passed away in 2019 so this is my ode to him. It is a poem about longing for what cannot be, as I stand on sandy shores looking out to sea. It speaks to my admiration of my father as a child, what now seems so distant a memory. Lighthouses guide lost ships that cannot find harbor, and the tragedy lies in that my father drifted too far out to sea.

You Never Knew Me: A poem by Mike Cole

You never knew me, nor I you.

Two strangers, passing through.

The wind whispered as we walked,

No words uttered, no words talked.

So strangers we remained, only ever passing.

For in love, nothing is ever truly lasting.


A poem I’m sure many can find themselves acquainted with. Unrequited love. The brief, fleeting thought of acting on attraction, but letting a moment pass. It’s beautiful but ultimately tragic.

With this poem, I tried to capture an idea, a moment. It emphasizes what is unsaid and plays with the idea of saying more, without explicitly stating it.

The lines are coupled, following a simple AABB rhyme scheme. I like to weave tints of tragedy into love poems to make them more human and with the end of the poem, you get a sinking feeling. The flow is thrown slightly off rhythm and lacks much of the excitement of the earlier lines. It is abrupt and signifies that this is truly an end, not a beginning.