Covering the beach and sliding up the rocks
Along the cliff s, driving the sanderling fl ocks
And me elsewhere, now a beach fi ve yards wide
All kelp-heaps and scattered stones, and a rock-slide
At the point, wet shale in jagged blocks
Angled for twists, foot-slitherings, bone-shocks;
And pooled and trickling water on every side.
I rock-hop past the next point. Here the air
Is quiet, the ocean crump-crumping its tons
Well out from shore, the nearby water still ...
Stretch of smooth sand! with a boulder here and there,
Standing alone -- black rock, gray water, duns
Of wet sand, cloud-roofed, in the even light; so beautiful.
In the cold deepening dusk there comes the roar
Of water much too near; as the car door
Caught by a gust swings wide, I see the brown
Waves smack the cliff s. Well, head for the next beach down.
Bulldozers have gouged it up and gullies pour
With the runoff , crumbling, forcing me to detour
Through garbage to the blacktop (it's near town).
I run in a dazzle of streetlights and car lights
My glasses streaming, and splattering along
Alone, think of the swaggering word invictus;
And sprint back through the drench against a strong
Headwind, wearing as the car comes into sight
A combination grin and runner's rictus.