The night will not give in to dreams.
The blood surges, remembering the beach,
where the wind drove the waves in teams.
What is it that the waves teach --
a vanishing point as ephemeral
as any the sky and the waters reach.
Excess of motion, rising to hurl
against the barricades of air,
falls . . . back into itself unfurls.
Inexorable—that sense in a nightmare
that is terror—the waves think
wave on wave to a deafening tintamarre.
There is no conclusion. Ideas sink
beneath the idea that follows,
visions turn to vision with a blink.
Is that all interpretation allows?
My thoughts ran to other things
as I stood lock-kneed in the shallows.
Whitecaps, feathered like seagull’s wings,
beat themselves in a luscious foam,
and etched the beach with sectioned rings.
And like the white space in a poem,
the troughs between each wave held
true, as line upon line washed home.
Would understanding forces that meld
curve to nested curve, that swell
the inhaling tide, that seamlessly weld
a form to its proportion, tell
me if the surf is a deity’s gift
and not a repeated curse from Hell?
Then the balance—a feather adrift
upon the breeze, cartwheeling down the beach;
how the fretful gusts would lift
it always just beyond the reach
of the sandy slip. I watch it seem
fearless, playful, dodging each
wavelet . . . and so begin to dream.