Waiting for the
	Wisps of marbled moonlight,
	I stand ashore,
	While seaward
	Waves more felt than heard
	Creep ponderously coastwise.
	When cloud-curtains part
	Reluctantly
	To my silent, aching 'plause,
	Moonbeams dance
	Over dappled waters
	Clear and cold.
	The foam spins as the combers
	Roll from the dark horizon
	Toward a sandy rendezvous,
	Blending with beach
	And rock,
	Throwing themselves ashore
	In endless abandonment
	Resolute, without remorse or fear
	Of oblivion.
	The moonlight calls to me
	With a cry
	Only swooping gulls
	May fathom--
	And while the wind
	Begs me bathe
	In her insistent breath,
	I stand unhap'ly rooted
	'Twixt sea and shore,
	A creature of neither sky
	Nor surging spray,
	Whose twisted grasp
	Cannot hold either moonbeams
	Or the restless waves.
	Like the hunchback,
	I gaze, awestruck and filled with love
	I cannot understand
	At the things I love,
	But cannot possess.
	For these, I would risk my life--;
	Yet, in the end
	Lie sick with despair, crying
	"All in vain!  All in vain!"
	While the rain
	Peppers the pebbled beach
	In whose stolid stones
	Rest all the pain
	Of earth's flickering ages.
	Why must moonbeams
	Be so softly sweet?
	Why must seagulls soar
	On angelic wings of white?
	Why must waves
	Break majestically on beaches
	Smooth as silk?
	Why must these things
	Call to me,
	Play the strings of my heart
	So skillfully
	That willfully
	I am drawn to the water's edge?
	With one plunge
	All would end
	And waves and sky and wind
	And I would then be one
	Til forevers all were done.
	But in that lover's bath
	I hear a laugh
	Which stays my seaward steps
	For fear
	The pounding roar
	Covers emptiness
	Love cannot fill.

7/20/77

© Fred O'Bryant. All rights reserved.

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