Procession Comes Ashore
From depths of gray distance
and a cold, smoky haze
Again and again,
without pause they come,
these swellings of sea water
that raise their lifted heads.
They come toward the wet sand
to the very end of their road.
They stand and stretch, swelling
to greater and greater heights
until they can stand no longer.
Foam boils atop their crests,
spreading left and right
along the teetering tops,
frantically hurling spray
up into the unreachable sky.
Lips curl at each frothy side,
stretching wide and wider
along the collapsing ridge,
shouting just as they stumble,
roaring with a momentary voice.
Finally they burble into shallows
like old men grown short and thin,
strained to the last of their reach,
bent into curls of broken backs.
The skin of their surface tension
sinks into the ashes of the beach.
They leave in hope of resurrection,
pulled back by tides in chaos,
still white, still palpable,
into the endlessly waiting
abundance of heaven.
About the Poem
This poem was written during a weekend spent on the Oregon coast. I was staring out a condo kitchen window at the waves coming into shore on a Sunday morning. The sky was brooding and I was so intensely moved by the sight that I had to grab paper and begin capturing the words that were coming to me.
This poem was written in 2005 and is previously unpublished in print.