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Darkness coming, the horizon turns a bright,
Deep orange-red, the exact color of the throat
Of a cutthroat trout! Pass a man writing a note
(His camera's set up) and look back -- beach black
Where he stands, crossed with great slashes of light.
But the water -- a half-inch deep there, sidling in,
Rumpling to sharp little ridges, with elegant
Black shadows, in the level light ... ripplings sent
At an angle through other ripplings cross-hatch, then
The surface quiets, and, smooth once again,
Shivers all over ... two tiny waves, blent
Head-on emerge, each going the way it went ...
New water foams in, slides back clear and thin:
The lovely loiterings, with darkness coming on,
Stay with me as I fi nish up my run,
Having had to hurry all I did today.
And nothing done well, getting it all done.
"That most exciting perversion," said Hemingway,
Of such forced haste; the feelings fray and splay.
the big wave
To Michael Ridland
Others are leaving as I pull in tonight
Dressed for the chill, and under a dull sky
Gray surf from winter storms is lifting high
Far out from shore, then bouncing in loud and white,
But a kid in trunks straightens to his full height