SANDY BEACH 1963

Once again the ocean 

Comes alive with sun

 

Without demands or friends,

And in front of me, no ends;

 

Just salt blowing from the waves

And its obeisant slaves

 

Lying on the brink with me

And see-through mist, and sea,

 

With clatter in the trees

And future on the island breeze.

 

Future everywhere, no past,

Horizon guaranteed to last

 

My life to date in panorama:

Coppertone and kadama.

 

No memories or guilt—

Just a suntan stuck with silt;

 

My predestined youth ignored

In favor of a boogie board;

 

So early in the world that games

Like frisbee have no names,

 

The ocean summer floating free

As swells beneath the day's debris,

 

No prophets to deter us,

Only skin and skimming cirrus

 

Unattached to earthly things,

A turquoise sandbox without strings,

 

A distant cloud above a shoal

The flapping summer's only goal,

 

A sky to climb but not to summit,

Not to scale it, but become it.

 

And now, the same air swirling round,

The same promising, farsighted sound,

 

But forty years removed from then, 

The dream is even truer when

 

The future imitates the past because

When I look back at it, it was.

 

January 19th, 2003

Sandy Beach, Oahu