at the Beach 

in the Early Morn
As far as one can see stretches the endless sea
Waves crashing and cascading to shore.
The azure sky reaching to the horizon, disappearing into the water.
Along the grass line, cicadas sing their songs.
Gulls and cranes search the surface for their next meal.
Ants and shelless crabs scurry about their business.
The smallest of creatures climb the rippled tidal sand.
The ridges seeming like huge mountain ranges waiting to be conquered.
The ocean weathered sea grass like darken straw awaits the next tide
To wash it out to sea and then to return again to its place of rest.
A small, unknown creature darts across the sand
Moving quickly, less consumed.
Ah, what marvels to see, what a symphony to behold!
Others imprint the sand in different ways,
Marking with footprints or jogging shoes.
Some walk as one and others as twos
Often passing within just a foot or two
Shades hiding their eyes–
Thus giving no recognition one to the other.
Others hard-at-work, faces stern, brows curled, eyes to the ground
As they jog away their real or imaginary pounds.
Another on the cell phone making that all-important useless call.
Others wear headphones piping in the latest tunes
Blocking out sounds of those damnable, interminable waves.
Lifeguards prepare for their sweltering day
Setting up their watchtower seats and red umbrellas.
Cyclists leave narrow marks on the ever-changing surface.
Off in the distance, a dog leaps and grabs a frisbee
While further on a lone figure does the ballet of Tai Chi.
Older couples walk, slower than the others
Their gaits revealing their lifelong journeys.
Closer by, the young child plays in the tidal pool
Aware only of the shovel and bucket in hand.
Later, the Tai Chi dancer quietly moves to the sea grass,
Settling into a posture of contemplation and meditation.
As one watches these myriad of happenings
One wonders,
How many truly heard
Nature's great symphony?
The melodic chords emanating from this wondrous Source of Life
Are the gift freely given for all to hear.

Comments: During the summer of 2000 we visited Hilton Head in South Carolina. The goal of my son and his friend was to enjoy the beach life. My goal was to relax and write. Many years had passed since my first visit. Not unexpectedly, the area had changed greatly from the late 70s, in my opinion, not for the better. The large crowds did not make for a relaxing time. But for Craig and his friend, the experience was a teenager's dream. I quickly got into the habit of rising early so that I could enjoy the beach and some solitude. Others had the same idea, numbers varying each morning. Nevertheless, I had many enjoyable moments. From the experience of one morning, this poem evolved.

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