Monday, October 8, 2012



If you stand long enough
And believe hard enough
They always come,
Rising and falling
As their hungry mouths feed,
I never see the fish,
Only the consumption,
Feeling each wave
Roll over the surface
Of the world,
My fins like their fins
Stretched out
Into the cool wind
Feeling for something real
Beyond myself,
Or perhaps deep inside
A knowing that after
All is said and done
I have landed where
I ought to have,
And kept faith
With these gods
I praise


This year I walk the promenade
and search hard the sea rim
needing them to come back into my life
as reward for doing almost all I could
to keep faith with them.
Perhaps missing last year
Attracted all these evil spirits
That swarm around me now
Spiritually devoid insects
Full of distorted visions
Of right and wrong,
Buzzing only relieved
By this wind off the sea
Where I once again
Can see clearly,
And ache for these angels
With fins
To rise up from their feeding
And feed me


The gulls that face the wind
Do not see the fins
Or hear the voices rising
Up from the sea
Only I do,
Even passers-by
Do not look where I look
They only look at me
Thinking I am crazy
For believing in something
They do not believe,
Searching the landscape
For some force for good
I can cling to,
To help me carry on
To give me strength
When all the tides
Of the world have
Turned against me,
So when the fins appear
I know I am right
For being here,
For waiting for it,
For believing in it,
Even if others
Still do not see


They come the last day
Of a three-day stay
In Cape May
As if needing to make
Sure we are worthy enough
For us to see them or
For them to see us,
Their fins rising over
The phony fins
The gray waves create
Illusions we must not
Believe in,
False prophets
Promising love
In their pursuit of profits,
Those who cast confetti
Into the wind,
Hoping for a cash crop
They can reap later
While when the illusions fade
The real fins rise
From a real sea
Speaking of real love
Bright in a real light of day.


I rush up the beach path
And reach the lip
Just in time to see
The lifted fin vanish
Beneath a wave,
Then more appearing
Angels in the ripped
Surfaced of the sea,
A sea I’ve craved for
But now can’t dip a toe in
For the cold,
This place
This time of year,
Part of a ritual
I can’t live without,
A holy moment
When I can become whole
When I test myself against
The edges of truth
Like a store keeper
Tests the life of a battery,
And this year,
I still stand on the right side
Still testing positive
And still can face myself
In the brisk unrelenting
Blow of the ocean wind.


I watch the dolphins dance
As I write in the wet sand
The perpetual waves erasing
Each word before it is done
Taking these out into the sea
As prayers to some hopeful god
So that in the end
I remain still standing
As all words wash away
Taking away the deceptive reflections
Wet sand always brings
The mirrored self-centeredness
The illusions of righteousness
The fallacy of personal ambition
Cast down like false gods
Leaving only the echo
Of the laughing gulls
As they sweep the sky
Above in their mockery

Al Sullivan's webpage

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