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etchings by James Morehead

July 3, 2011


i start writing perched waist deep on a bahamian sand bar
tracing letters in azure blue surf
the letters momentary wisps on an endless swelling tide

letters words trace back to shore
rising tide chases sand traced stanzas
leaving behind smeared blurs

chasing the tide i take my words away from waves encroach
writing more quickly now more furious
challenging each crashing wave to catch my lettered trails

my poem continues from surf to sand clouds
chopped fine by turbo prop turns
tracing thoughts into cool vapor mist
left floating in mid air

my poem lies dormant now
chilled by mundane grey and skyline smog
i try to cut letters from the soot and smoke
only to see them crumble like ash

evelyn sees me grabs my hand cleaning away the dust and grime
"daddy daddy! follow me i know where you can write!"
she leads me away from the concrete and steel
away from the grey to a small city park
a sandbox nestled in trees that stretch through
the blanket of grey letting sunlight fall
"daddy try this!" as she hands me a freshly fallen branch
i write!
i write words etched in sand in circles surrounding us
until entrapped my daughter claps and twirls

this poem ends briskly at sunset
cold shivers from a pacific kiss
final words survive retreating waves and passing lovers' feet
only to be slowly eaten by a moonlit winter breeze
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