Standing alone on broad windswept dunes
Amidst an Atlantic coastal storm, nature
Protests my intrusive presence on her
Unprotected strand where no gulls or
Beachgoers dare challenge howling gales
On Assateague Atlantic Ocean shores.
Assailed by earthly elements – roaring
Surf and wind-driven rain – she refuses
To recognize me today or to acknowledge
My love of solitary sea-life, fishing deep-
Sea canyons, and lapping ocean beaches,
Waves gliding gently across silvered seas.
Immovable in our resolve, we clutch
Possessively to what we both treasure,
This malleable isthmus of over-washed
Sand, fragile transition from salt marshes
And graceful stands of pines protecting
Rain-bleak wildlife refuge.
Ancient struggles of fisherfolk against
Tempests awakened, we thrust boats and
Nets into unrelenting crests, selfless acts
Of courage and faith, beyond sight of
Lighthouse beams and welcoming peals
Of beckoning buoy-bells.
Held fast in sand, surf exposes old ruins,
Wooden ribs of shipwrecks rediscovered,
Sailor’s plaintive cries lost to streaked
Brine, fleeting grasp of life’s last breath,
Thoughts of home vanished to time and
To fathomless ocean depths.
On this winding day, I celebrate life and
Recall unnumbered dead, lover’s longing
Arms, accepting cruel fates, ships and
Lives splintered, mournful incantations.
On bended knee, braced against winds,
I acknowledge nature’s perilous might.
Soaked to skin with salt spray, my mortal
Frame flailed by rolling seas and lashing
Winds, an isolated soul, a trembling heart
Reluctantly retreats. Absolution given on
A narrow, foam-streaked seashore, knowing
Voices resound on thunderous waves.