‘Not Quite an Ocean’ by Elizabeth M. Castillo is a paean to the feminine, to motherhood and to the natural world. At once these poems are both unabashed in their celebration of womanhood, and are searing in their unflinching confrontation with darker undercurrents that threaten to break and destroy. The poems in ‘Not Quite an Ocean’ are beacons, are rallying calls, and are ultimately a roars of strength, pride and hope that cannot be silenced or subdued:


To be woman is to be everything

All things bound together

and, if you can manage it

that little bit more

Elizabeth M Castillo

Elizabeth is a British-Mauritian poet, writer, indie-press promoter, and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. She lives in Paris with her family and two cats, where she writes a variety of different things, in a variety of different languages, and under a variety of pen names. In her writing Elizabeth explores the different countries and cultures she grew up with, as well as themes of race & ethnicity, motherhood, womanhood, language, love, loss and grief, and a touch of magical realism.

Her writing has been featured in publications and anthologies in the UK, US, Australia, Mexico and the Middle East. Her bilingual, debut collection “Cajoncito: Poems on Love, Loss, y Otras Locuras” is for sale on Amazon, You can connect with her on Twitter and IG as @EMCWritesPoetry, or on her website www.elizabethmcastillo.com.



Have you ever stood inside the ocean?

Toes curled. Shaky purchase on the seafloor.

There is a lesson to be learned, if you will stand

and defy Poseidon inside his own court. Waves,

they travel single file. To hide their numbers.

Waves- they suffer neither fool nor survivor. Waves-

they just keep coming. The moon-

she has no care for the divisions of you life, for these

tiny boxes you amass and fill. Compartments overflowing,

still she stands, looming as her soldiers consider their

onslaught. Waves- breaking neither themselves nor each other.

Waves- at every side, there is no path outside of them. Waves-

exiling you back to the shore.


How long have you been standing here?