There’s no where to run, I continue to say
It’s not that kind of beach, too short, too steep to bother
Just try anyway, he insisted this day, try anyway
So I lace up my shoes and trot towards the water

In a brilliant sky day the ocean churns a low crash
Rutted deep sand seems to flatten ahead
Crabs scurry side step to clear my foot path
Keeping close watch from eyes atop of their heads

Haleakala before me and I at her feet
Her crown of ringed clouds guarding her crest
To my right easing surf in glass turquoise retreat
Banyan trees border the sand in wide arch on my left

A fortuitous sight, this must be a good sign
Leather belt bound with buckle weather beaten and strong
Sandy trophy for running wherever I find
The narrow beach curves then streches out miles long

No pack on my back, no bottle in hand
Just this smooth shell I rub between forefinger and thumb
Keeping a beat with the tide no earbuds could can
And I am grateful that I agreed to this run

In standing straight form ten poles planted in line
Their master casters crawl from low slung pitched tents
I duck my head beneath invisible filament line
That cross over the beach to the water’s clear depths

Three miles in buildings first enter my view
Yoga and crossfit pilates right there in the surf
I turn and head back salty sweat beginning to stew
And then there’s my husband an impromptu water stop crew

Again I am gone, a white lab sharing my gait
’till he turns  runs headlong into slow crashing surf
Chasing a fantom ball because he can’t wait
For the real one hidden deep in his keeper’s shirt

Long sweeping waves extend their greedy grasp
Poseiden reclaimig this portion of land
While pipers pipe piping he takes without ask
Narrowing even further this slender strip of sand

And I, I feel blessed, this day in this sand
For a the shore, these shoes and this life
But more for a man who loves me just as I am
And for this day long ago when I became his wife.

I’m a few days behind this year. This prompt was from Day 7 for the NaPoWriMo challenge. The challenge was to write a poem about luck and fortuitousness.

Highway Sonnet

The road reaches out before me in bright
Crystal highway, sparkling sun, radiant
Burst, blinding rays. Days on days into night
My constant companion, invariant

Black top. Don’t stop rolling beneath my seat
Transport my weary soul to meet my dreams
Down this long road, somewhere warm, some place sweet
Guided by your broken white highway seams

The crowd they come and duly find their route
Distance drawing I remain steady fast
Fast they come, blinking, weaving, in and out
Fast I hold my place, sure to be the last

Till clear road stretches light and bright again
Pulls forward, one more mile closer to my end.

Suit Sense

The real question is …. When should you stop wearing a bikini? It doesn’t seem to be that big of a question to fashion columnists or most other women my age. The fashion magazines say no one over thirty belongs in one and apparently my peers have bought into this edict. But not me, no sir. Instead I cling with fading hope to my itsy, bitsy, teeny, weenie, one size larger this year bikini.

Maybe the real question is whether or not I actually belonged in one in the first place. I’ve never had the perfect swimsuit shape. Perhaps it’s this acceptance of imperfection that has in the long run blurred the lines of appropriateness for me.

One day I’ll be laying on a beach in Catalina sipping margaritas with a friend, surrounded by firmer but less confident twenty-something’s and thinking I’m doing just fine in my little black suit. And then one week later I’ll see a photo of a Mexican beached whale and gasp when I realize that muffin top whale roll belongs to me.

It’s not just a size factor, there’s also the age issue. At 40 I could convince myself that those magazine articles were just wrong, but at 50 maybe I’m the one that’s wrong.

Still, each time I head to the beach I reach for the fun, string held, two piece suit instead of a more sensible form of cover. It’s just not time yet. I’m just not ready to retire the attire of my youth. Maybe when I’m 60. Who knows…maybe not.

Days in Mexico

Today the water is flat, outside my third floor patio perch, two blocks back, with hot coffee and Kahlua in hand. The days roll out slowly like this. Birds greeting the morning sun, and one by one my companions join me stretching from their slumber with bed head hair and rumpled clothes.

The mornings are peaceful and reflective. We speak in quiet tones and walk with gentle feet making up for the celebrating and poolside noodle dancing of the night before. Ah, the noodle dance, an interpretive new genre of movement that is part ballet and modern flow combined with exotic dance, all done with the aid of a bright pink floatie noodle. It’s silly and all fun till someone gets hurt. This time it was me who took the tumble after a particularly challenging one foot balancing move. So much for the noodle dance.

So this morning we wander each in our own silence. We gather scattered clothes. We whisper good mornings and listen to the soft roll of the water as it meets the shore.

Mexico days let us forget our other-side border lives. We waken slowly, play like children and spend hours floating in the flat surf on pink noodles while dolphins take turns dancing for us. I think they are hoping to borrow my noodle too.

On Their Own

I left my vines alone to grow
Sprout leaves and push through their white tubes
With no one there to see them raise
Their reaching arms to the light at high noon
The soil I’ve toiled and tilled and turned
The water run to each a drip
I’ve watched each bud and branch unfurl
Awaiting the fruit that someday I’ll sip
My vines I’ve left at home alone
Without my daily praise and song
I hope they know they are still beautiful
And that I won’t be gone for long

It’s Just Miwok

Serendipitously found myself walking on the beach at 5:30 this morning.  It wasn’t the plan.  The plan was to sleep as long as possible so that I would be fresh to pace my runner for the last fifteen miles of her 62 mile race later today.  But when I got up for my 4:00 am bathroom trip I noticed a light coming from the crack of her bedroom door.  I was surprised to find her sitting there, curled under the covers dressed in full running gear.  She was supposed to be at the starting line at 4:00 am.

If you haven’t already heard, Miwok 100k has been shortened to a 60k.  The park service has closed part of the course due to high fire danger. That notice came to the race officials at 11:00 pm last night, about the time the runners were warding of butterflies and trying to get a few hours of sleep.

So we all regroup.  Our runner now starts her 38 mile run at 8:00 am, and crew and pacers adjust accordingly.  That left me and crew member Janet wide awake at 5:00 am with nothing to do but wander the beach.  Tough life, right?

With the morning light barely breaking our feet hit the cold sand on the deserted beach.  Our early start was rewarded with shore abundant with fresh shells and sand dollars.  Even the seagulls were not yet awake.  We wandered down the waterline and into the town of Stinson Beach just as the only coffee stand in town was opening.  Grateful for the couple of dollars I’d slipped in my pocket, we strolled back blessed with warm coffee for our beach combing return.

And then we saw it, maybe 200 yards off shore, the breach and then the spout of a whale.  It surfaced and spouted five more times giving us a full head breach and tail slap as part of it’s display.  It was headed home, going north for the summer.

So the lesson this morning is that life changes.  We can’t predict it.  How would have guessed the long standing Miwok race would be a 60k instead of a 100k at this last moment?  So we change with it, and find our blessings along the way.



Day Three – I’m Always Nervous at Customs

Red light. Green light. Green light. Red.
There’s nothing here to see officer
Nothing at all.
I have no gun, no drugs, no pets
There’s nothing I’m carrying from someone I’ve met
Nothing at all.
Do I look like someone who would?
Maybe I look like someone who would.
I do declare, there’s nothing here
Nothing at all.
Glasses on? Glasses off?  Should I remove my hat?
My bag I packed and kept secure,
Yet the drug sniffing dog still lingers near
And his gun toting friend gives me a sneer
Nothing here at all.
Passport passes in unsteady hands
The picture is bad.  Does it even look like me?
My voice catches, I cough and stall
What am I bringing back with me?
I look away, look back, and look away again
Nothing, officer, nothing at all.
Red light. Green light. Green light. Go.