poems as hand- and foot-holds on a glass mountain

Beach Walking

a cup of black tea swallows me
sip by sip from thinking to naked intuition
goes beach-walking on a whim
never to become habit
nearing the surf where the sand is firm
like rain-soaked pavement in the city
there is no more slip-back at each step
as in the dry sand further back
the steady low roar of waves
is polite applause after a concert
a bored audience approving
that the performance is over
and they are no longer its audience

Stalin would grow annoyed if his comrade audiences
did not cheer him loudly enough, would ring a small bell
to remind them of what would happen to them
and soon, if they weren’t more enthusiastic

sounds are more ambiguous than speech
the low wet crunch of footsteps
the cry and flutter of gulls, the wind’s slight whisper
fade in and out of hearing without memory
shrugging off introductions, commentary
and most of all translations
the beach walks me; the sounds it lives in
reverse these near-hearings
into a walking sweetness of constant leaving
of goings, another and yet another
until each and all are Only

perhaps the waves’ applause is not perfunctory
not mere relief at our leavings
but that long slow delayed applause
of deep appreciation, little more than a nod

2 Responses to “Beach Walking”

  1. Craig Brandis (aka Burl Whitman)

    “that long slow delayed applause
of deep appreciation, just a bit more than a nod”—-wonderful

    Reply

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