Posts Tagged ‘Ocean’

Big Olaf

Posted: April 23, 1995 in Poetry
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Once, while sitting
On a tide-surrounded
Piece of Sunset Cliffs,
I smelled boyhood,
A summer scent:
Warm sand, blue cool ocean,
Seaweed, shells, swells, surf wax;
Coconut tanning oil
SPF 15.
The silence of waves before they break,
Bodyboard rash and sunburns,
The sharp asphault places in the parking lots,
Kicking sand on the backs of your calves
When wearing flip flops.
Bonfires and beer drinking,
Big Olaf’s waffle cones;
Smoke and fireworks and Frisbees,
Barbeques, volleyball leather, and Cokes.
The wet, towel-covered vinyl seats
In the Monte Carlo,
All in one accurate slap
Of a wave and the wind
Gracing my face.

The rain came down
Like cartoon anvils,
Spending itself on the cement
In an assault on the town.

The parachute-less troops
Gathered in the low-lying spots
And took over the streets
In order to regroup.

Rioting raindrops,
Seething and churning,
Swallowing curbs and sidewalks
And the floors of a few shops.

En masse, they moved
Like a swarm of fluid ants,
Chewing up the asphault,
Around, under, and through.

They occupied the intersection
Several steps from my domicile;
A congregation of soldiers
Moshing in misdirection.

The storm drain was debris overrun
By the midnight attack,
Mouth buried in what was handy,
Gagged by the silver-headed ones.

They celebrated down the gutters,
Their comrades swept down from the hills,
Retreating, they left for the ocean
Until their cries became gutters.

Discontent and garbled threats
Of heavy grey clouds yet to come,
Of their shock troops, the hail.
Big drops, little drops; they’re all wet.

Promises of thunder, their drummer boys
Their standards of lightning
And the wind-demons who bear them;
This I hear in the storm’s noise.

I stood in the lee of my apartment
Water draining from my hat and jacket
I watched the fury of the rain banshees
With a certain amount of excitement.

I love the rain and the wind; all weather
Which drives people inside to read books.
They boil kettles and build fires –
An opportunity to be together.

But I like to be outside in the dark
Of wildness and wetness and the glory
When the streets are reclaimed by the Mardi Gras rain
And the world’s turned into an amusement park.

Run to the Grunion Run

Posted: May 11, 1994 in Poetry
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I ran across the street
with a golden-haired girl
to watch the grunion run.
She’d never seen it before —
I’d never touched one,
always too scared —
but for her I wrapped one in seaweed,
careful not to touch its skin,
and I returned it
to my Mom,
the ocean.

why can’t I
just be another guy?
but I’m a person
with a snake-sharp tongue
and I’m a ripped flannel…
I shoot my mouth like a shotgun.
riddles and rhyming and rhythm,
not taken seriously enough to stay honest
just another number in the GTE phone list.
I lie and I lie and I lie
to convince you all
that the poet is just another human being;
that I am just another guy.

I thresh through these lines
like a dog wrapped in seaweed,
thrown with stones in the ocean:
I can’t breathe –
there’s all the smoke from the fires I’m lightning,
I’m telling the sheriff that I’m struck by lightning.
when does it all stop echoing ‘round in circles?
I think it’s just another dream.
I’m on a porch with a candle and a carpet;
there’s crickets all around
and I feel wonderful without the world dragging me down.
look, I see you don’t understand with a frown.

I can’t even repeat what I’ve said.
I can’t think of a poem I’ve written,
then read,
and thought that this is it, this is perfect!
I’ve even given up trying to rework it.
I don’t want to write for a living anymore
I feel like the homework that’s always lost to the dog
and I don’t remember whatever
I expected from myself anymore.
these fireworks of joy that I wished to paint the skies with
are nothing more than explosions
of white-winged moths from a log
that I’ve kicked walking alone in the woods.

Pennywise as a Lover

Posted: August 30, 1993 in Poetry
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when I am away
I know that I am in love
with you,
with salts and breezes
from the ocean
that would go well
with your blonde hair,
helium balloons
for your big blue eyes,
dripping sandcastles
in the reflection of the sun
on the sealskin sand
of the tide on the beaches.

and I am the mist
that crawls in off the old pieces
of the sea that were caught
in tidepool fishing nets last night;
I come wrapping, a stole
around the necks of the cliffs,
rising up from the beach,
heads sheared off like
so many broken Michaelangelos.

Hush

Posted: August 22, 1993 in Poetry
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you asked me once upon a time
if I could hear the speech of the sea.
I said yes and that
was where are agreement ended;
you heard eulogies, laments,
cries of change and supportive flesh,
the echoes of watery hands
drumming on cliffsides,
rolling rocks into its stomach,
a maelstrom of creative fury
controlled and unleashed
by the whim of the innocent moon.
But when I hear the ocean,
it is a purring cat, content
on lapping milky foam
on the sands of this one beach
and saying to me over and over
as it launders the shores
“hush . . . it’s alright”.

Dolphin Daughter

Posted: June 20, 1993 in Poetry
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A dolphin explodes from the water
because she is the daughter
of the foam that is flipped from her grey tail
flying skywards and seawards,
spraying dents into the surface of the sea.
she plunges back under the covers
of the ocean to meet the others,
dolphins which, not caught in tuna nets, are free.