. The Sea Cliffs Imposing, somber, motionless they stand, Like ranks of rugged soldiers primed for war, They stand where they have always stood before Through generations—guardians of the land. In dark array, with militant persistence, They rise up in their crumbling armor where They keep watch, with a proud and noble air, Defiant, mute, and ready for resistance. They look out as one man beyond the fray, While at their feet, a restless crowd below Of frothy waves keeps rushing to and fro In troubled turbulence and disarray. Advancing and retreating without aim, The toiling waves keep moving every day, Forever turning in their wild dismay, In endless cycles time can never tame. With savage force, the crazy waves press hard Against the land, but find their fury bound, Held back by these strong cliffs that hold their ground Like stalwart sentries, always standing guard. This weathered vanguard, placed to hold the line Where earth and sea in endless strife contend Will never yield to force, but will defend Their sacred post, and keep their charge divine. They stand from year to year and age to age, Admired by all the helpless hordes they save From watery death---a band of watchmen brave, In aspect strong, majestic, ancient, sage. The setting sun makes slanting rays shine down Upon these cliffs through evening mist and spray To gild them in the waning light of day With golden glory as a laurel crown. Above the cliffs, a radiant rainbow spreads Its brightly colored bands across the sky--- A sign of hope, to which these cliffs say “aye” By raising high their rocky regal heads! . . Morning Bliss Here time stands still, and stillness is stretched out As daybreak’s pale blossom in the sky, Unfolding, spreads its rosy hues throughout The heavens, where the early sparrows fly. Held captive in unhurried silent rapture, I hear birds waking in the brake nearby And cattle lowing in the unmown pasture, Where cowbells clang and morning breezes sigh. Fresh zephyrs blowing stroke the waving grass With soft caresses, honeysuckle scented, Then brush my forelocks as they gently pass Across the porch, where I sit so contented. Enchanted by the quiet of this place And by the smell of coffee rising up In steamy wisps that curl before my face Each time I take a sip from this warm cup, I sit here, rocking, breathing silent praise, So thankful for life’s gifts and life itself! Thus, filled with thoughts of countless blesséd days, I rest, like some old book upon a shelf. . . Martin Rizley grew up in Oklahoma and in Texas, and has served in pastoral ministry both in the United States and in Europe. He is currently serving as the pastor of a small evangelical church in the city of Málaga on the southern coast of Spain, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Martin has enjoyed writing and reading poetry as a hobby since his early youth.