Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Soft Sea

The fine white sand is hot and soft.
It burns and claims my feet, slipping and sliding
Down, down,
down and down
to the sea.

A soft, crunching marks the quarter of my passage.
Reaching the dune line,
a sharp smack of sea air, the smell of salt,
bright mirrored light sears my eyes.

The wind blows the tears from my face before I know what I feel.

At a distance, the sounds of families, children squealing and laughting...
rise quickly and then fade in the expanse of sea , sand and sky.

A thread of radio music is carried by the wind and then is gone.

The dry sand gives way to damp and wet,
hard as I get closer to the water’s fickle edge.
Softer still, the mix of sand and warm water yields to my weight,
covering my feet, holding me there, cast in place.
A wave curls and rolls to me, gentle and foamy .

The sea brume lingers in bubbled islands, carried up the beach and now abandoned .

Past the soft wet sand there is a line of sea weed, duck weed I think,
in tangles of shells and sea grass, driftwood, smooth and bleached grey.
A light mark of fine white crystal records the reach of a wave

In the shallow water, a collection of mussel shells, broken bits of blue and silver that
bite and cut my feet.

The waves break clean and swimmers are carrried along trim lines of aquamarine perfection.

I dive into a small wave and swim out beyond the last sounds from the land,
Dunking and diving, out past the surge of breaking and retreating waves,
I swim out and
I wait.

I wait, treading water, suspended, measuring the patterns of waves to pick the one to ride in.
A wave comes up high and hard. It drops out to feed the second wave.
I slip into the glue of this next wave that carries me effortlessly toward the shore.
Locked in the engineering of fluid mechanics,
I glide in a magic marriage, delivered to shallow water.

I lie on my stomach and feel the wave withdraw, leaving me high and dry.
The next wave comes and washes over me and begins to pull me back.
I wait a bit to see how eager the sea is to reclaim me to its depths.

In a game I play called Old Piece of Junk, I let the water roll
and pull me back.
Back to the sharp line of broken shells.

I am stalled, abandoned.

The sand creeps into every seam of my bathing suit.

I swim out, past the shallow, back to the deeper water
and wait and drift
and wait and drift

The shore line fills with umbrellas, coolers, striped chairs, and blankets.

They move in silence,
the people on the beach melt in the heat waves rising from the sand,
so far away.

The crashing waves separate my purpose from their business.

It is quiet where I am
Out here
Out here where
I can hear the soft sound of waves, a passing motor boat.

My breath rises and falls in the rhythm of the waves, the ssssushhh of the waves breaking,
so far away

I hear the cry of a sea gull.
High above,
he is waiting too.

A large fish may frighten the smaller fish to the surface.

Snapper blues, elegant silver sided, baby bluefish, swim in choreographed perfection, running through these waterways, feeding on the smaller kellies and spearing.

Fish rise quickly to the surface and jump out of the water when frightened from below.
The sea birds wait for this moment to swoop down to claim their prize.

Out here, out deep where the water below my knees is much colder
I feel a thump against my dangling foot as a large unseen fish moves past me.
Out here, out deep waiting for a wave,
The thump recalls a small panic, maybe a shark….

I am out too far.
I know this fear. I have seen Jaws too many times,
I let fear wash over me in the next wave and I shudder.

I swim in toward the shore a bit and wait.
A wave rises below, lifting me, I swim in and wait.
My feet are numb in the deep water current.
I remember the warm sand.

A set of bigger waves… one, then two, I catch the second wave and let its power carry me back to the crowded whine of the blended voices,
the smell of cocoanut oil.


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