Cover image:

Ozone Overdose


We’ll breathe it in,

the ozone,

fill our lungs and


Lips coated with brine,

one lick,

a saline taste

while we take in the view,

the vast empty space -

no one here but us

and the gulls

that wheel and cry.

Heads back,

arms open wide,

we run in a futile

attempt to take off and fly.

Instead we sink,

we splash

and we laugh as though the ozone

is nitrus oxide,

caught up in the freedom

of the place.

Eventually we find a sheltered spot

to sit and stare

way out across the horizon,

a gateway

to another space.

I taste the salt

but this time I’m uncertain

if it’s saline brine

or slowly flowing tears -

for you’ve vanished and I’m sitting here alone.


Submitted: June 15, 2020

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Add Your Comments:


Jobe Rubens

I live in Cornwall - all we have are miles of coastline, beaches, fishing villages, coves - and BLOODY SEAGULLS!!! I lived in Sennen Cove near Lands End so I can relate to all this ozone and smell of ocean brine.

Mon, June 15th, 2020 6:29pm


I went on holiday to Cornwall once. We have miles and miles of coastline here, not all sandy though. And seagulls aplenty too. I live about 15 miles from the sea, near the bottom of a mountain. Sometimes the crows and the seagulls seem to fall out over who should be in this piece of sky and that has inspired more than one poem in the past.
Thanks for giving this a read, Jobe.

Mon, June 15th, 2020 11:53am

Mike S.

Another sad but excellent poem, Hull!

Mon, June 15th, 2020 7:16pm


I'm very sad lately, and I think it shows. Thanks for reading.

Tue, June 16th, 2020 12:47pm


Memories, and the imagination of memory.

Mon, June 15th, 2020 7:50pm


More like wishful thinking. Thanks, Adam.

Tue, June 16th, 2020 12:46pm

88 fingers

I live near the Hudson River. Between the seagulls and geese, its like the Hitchcock movie The Birds. They are aggressive.

Mon, June 15th, 2020 8:02pm


It's seagulls and crows here! Although I don't live on the coast or by a river, the gulls come inland sometimes and the crows are never happy about it.

Tue, June 16th, 2020 12:43pm

Sue Harris

I can smell and taste the brine, feel the exhilaration and then the despair, the transition from joy to salty tears! Brilliant poem, Hilly.

Mon, June 15th, 2020 9:25pm


Thanks so much, Sue.

Tue, June 16th, 2020 12:37pm

Craig Davison

It made me smile when I read the nitrous oxide comparison, but I suppose I was a teen drug abuser once.

Tue, June 16th, 2020 3:47am


Laughing gas! I had to look it up, Craig. Thanks for giving this a read.

Tue, June 16th, 2020 12:32pm

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