Watcher on the Beach
With sand underfoot and storm overhead,
I pace the edge of this tide-sketched shore,
casting sight across the water like a fisher's line.
Tonight, the ocean I love is under siege,
pelted by rain and the temper of the clouds.
Lightening tries to blind me to its face,
stranding me here, a watcher on the beach.
Damp and chill both settle in my lungs,
daring me onto the skin of the restless sea,
there to test my strength and try my hands.
But the boastful thunder has never heard me
speaking the sky into silence and peace,
never listened when I have wooed the water,
more a lover than a watcher on the beach.
For I was bred in the warmth of saline,
was cradled by the rocking of these waves
as their eternity raised me to a proper age.
So now I climb the falling rain like rope
to make myself thin as breath on the wind
and lay upon the body of the ocean I love,
leaving only footprints of a watcher on the beach.
I fly between the storm and tortured sea,
seeding the tempest with the banes and sorrows
that once were mine alone, I thought.
Then awakens the silver priestess of night,
to wed me to the water, the ocean I love,
where deep and wet give me cause to swim
and never be again, a watcher on the beach.
About the Poem
This poem gives us the thoughts of someone who has spent most of his life observing the things he loves. He finally decides to take action and join in the passions of life.
This poem was originally published in the chapbook When the Black Lotus Blooms (1988, Black Lotus Press).