Eventide

 

The tide pours into the flat, grassy sound

like the whispering of angels.

In the distance white birds drift and circle

and drop into the tall grass, disappearing.

The sky is quiet, too.

The loud sun has fallen below the horizon

and only a bright glow of gold and red

now marks its passage.

Across the inflowing stream a moving line

slices the slick, black surface.

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morning poem, Oct. 19, 2017

 

The rocking chair sits in the bright morning sun

Its bare wood bleached by relentless summers

It does not resist

Even its stationary pose is restful

In the sea breeze it totters slightly

As if in memory of one who sat there

Years before

 

 

copyright 2017

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Afternoon Post, Oct. 18, 2017

 

In late afternoon, the declining sun shines across the water like a skater over ice.  The white foam on the breakers is incandescent and electric, brighter than all else around, catching the radiance at just the right angle.   The waves themselves are green and translucent.  On the beach a toddler, given freedom before unknown, chases a gull that seems to know that he is at play.    A shirtless fisherman draws a heavy, silver croaker from the surf.  His long and stout rod bends as he lifts the fish above the sand.  His wife, who has done this before, unhooks the striped fish and the fish shakes and bristles its dorsal fin, terror in its round eye.

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Mid-day Post, Oct. 18, 2017

 

Early morning and we are in kayaks on the marsh

We weave on little rivers around islands of spike grass

And learn the names of things

The clumsy cormorants, resting, each on its own post

Then ospreys and eagles, high in the pines

Muscular and all seeing

The roseate spoonbills are pink as sunrise

Their rare color shocks against this world of green and blue

And the terns bear marks as precise and bright as military dress

Storks and the Great Blue Heron glide

In defiance of their bulk

.

We marvel at creation

And at the names of the animals

This was man’s first creative act

The first divine injunction or permission

And in naming, man began to order the world

.

I know the names of the marsh birds now

And I am deeper in

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night post, oct. 17, 2017

 

Just out our door the wind blows off the sea and the breakers crash, one after another, sounding like jets leaving the ground.  It is dark now and the birds that navigate this symphony of air and water have disappeared.  The moon behind the clouds turns them purple and shows their outlines in the sky.  One man, barefoot and in a hooded sweatshirt walks alone down the beach in fulfillment of what he promised himself as he stared out his office window in the city only weeks ago.

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evening poem #2, Oct. 17, 2017

 

 

Unpainted and bearing rusted signs

Esso, Pure, and Upper 10

The parking lot is empty

But we’re early, I say

And it’s out of season

We check the reviews on her phone

Satisfied, we go inside

Empty house, and the man asks

You want a high table, low table

Or sit at the bar

We take a “low table”

And split the seafood platter

We’ll have it grilled, I say

In no time at all the salads are on the table

These veggies must be local, we agree

Yeah.  You know that the growing season

Is longer down here

Maybe year around

In the background

From the kitchen, maybe

We hear Elvis and then Johnny Cash

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evening poem, october 16, 2017

 

In the morning

In the distance

The sea birds stand on the beach

Like an army

Ordered by rank

The tall pelicans

Then the gulls in uniform

Then the tiny, blackbilled sandpipiers

 

Now they lift in horizontal lines

As if according to written plan

Suspended, then in flight

The multiplied whispers of their wings

Surprises the onlookers

Who stare at the black blanket

Now extended over the grey sea

As it billows and furls

And moves like a single organism

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afternoon post, Oct. 16, 2017

 

 

The waves breaking before me are grey green.  The color of the sea at Normandy when our troops waded out of the carrier boats into the cold surf and into Nazi gunfire; like the sea on some clouded day in February that is marked by the wake of some slow tanker and that carries the smell of its engines, the smell of ancient industry.  And the clouds above the sea are likewise grey and the light so absent that even the white gulls are dark in the air.

 

But I know of other waves.  First in description.  Those I learned of only in song and story. Those sun-kissed, blue waves of the Pacific, of Malibu, that broke long and hollow and carried surfers, tall and tanned, along on their striped longboards while music played.

And then those of my own youth; my own experience.  When I had learned that this game was worth the candle and that all of the work getting out through the breakers was worth it and all of the threats of sharks and stingrays out there should not be enough to prevent one from taking advantage of this thrill, this sacrament of nature, that was offered nowhere else in the world; to be lifted into weightlessness and be borne along by some breaking force that has inside it all the power of the ocean and is at the command of the moon and of winds some thousand miles away.

There were days that brought perfection. When the waves were big, but not too big and they came, one after another so that there was only time to catch one’s breath before the next ride.  On those days, each wave was different; some taking you sideways along the break, parallel with the shoreline; on others you may have started high on the crest and slid down the sparkling wall of water and then been covered over with a blanket of white foam.

These days – there were only a few of them – gave one an everlasting memory that was unmatched by any other experience.  It reminded us that the things the poets sang about really were true, even if they were rare and demanded strength and daring.  These memories, burned deeply into consciousness, gave one the fuel to withstand decades of the grey and ordinary and to bring into those stagnant waters a ray of sunshine and the assurance that, indeed, all will be well.

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Rock and Roll

 

Image result for rockabilly

 

 

 

Think awhile on rock and roll

The kind that gets you goin’

Guitar, keyboard, bass and drums

To set your soul a’glowin’

.

Some say that it’s the devil’s work

Some say that it’s the Lord’s

Some say its All-American

Like Cadillacs and Fords

.

It’s on the radio right now

If you know where to look

Or go downtown to some old joint

And hear those young’uns cook

.

It makes and old man young again

He’ll rise and feel like singin’

He’ll think of some bright, better day

When churchbells all are ringin’

.

I only hope it never dies

And that they’ll always play it

It moves my soul way down inside

So deep that I can’t say it

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Penny Candy

 

 

Image result for pixie sticks

 

 

Selling penny candy

Piece by tiny piece

Cheap and sweet and handy

Right here on the street

.

Get your straw of Lik-em-aid

Gumballs and red-wax crown

All inside a neat brown bag

Lay your money down

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