Friday, February 12, 2010

Beach Combing

It was a windy day at the beach yesterday. This well-tanned man found a windbreak. I've seen him often: he likes to sun himself standing up. I like to think he is looking at his shadow as if he were looking into a mirror.

The terns were grounded. Two of them tuck their beaks into their feathers but keep an open eye. The terns with their black crests and bright yellow beaks are raffish, stylish figures.

The ocean had tossed up these creations--sponges and sea plants encrusted with coral.

As I waited, the waves washed in this red sweater, which I'll wear on St. Valentine's Day. In the morning there are often discarded clothes and shoes on the streets, on the beach, in the water. If by some rare chance the person who threw away the red sweater sees me and wants me to give it back, I will. But first I will ask him for a reward, not money. What should it be? Should I ask a riddle? Ask that he tell me a story, tell me about his night on the beach? Tell me his dreams?

The gold check-mark is on the left side. Isn't that the side of the heart?


  1. What an impressive entry of yours, leaving me indeed a bit speechless.
    So far there were only a pair of shoes on me feet, found in the streets, that i had to wear, when i was young, which was indeed a lesson for life.
    Please have a wonderful start into the weekend.

  2. To sun bathe standing up seems extraordinary to me. For how long does he bake?

    It's also strange the things the sea throws up including the red sweater with a reminder of Valentine embroidered in place of a heart.

    Thanks, Mim.

  3. Oh, Mim...what a find that oiled man walking along Revere Beach..
    Happy Valentine's day...

  4. Elizabeth, he seems to stand for hours. I've never seen him prone. I suspect he's showing off his buffed body.

    Good-luck red to you all, rich hearts . . .

  5. Standing for hours in the face of full sun might constitute art? Perhaps he's meditating? Or, as you say, Mim, perhaps he's in conversation with his shadow (which is generally not a bad thing?).

    The V on the heart-side of the red jumper (NZ for sweater) could also be a valley, a cradle, a vessel, a pair of wings on the upbeat of a wind- each one full, fertile, fabulous.

    It's already Valentine's Day in New Zealand - I like to think of you waking some hours from now to the same date in South Beach, going through your day wearing your unknown stranger's gift.

    Happy Valentines...

  6. Claire: I like your riff on the golden V that I called a check mark!

  7. how wonderful, the red sweater deposited by the waves.
    i had a friend, who would often say, "i found a perfectly good mitten in the street," or, "i found a perfectly good pair of flip-flops."
    i am so glad you found a perfectly good valentine's sweater, or it found you.

  8. Susan, who knows what I'll find the Monday after St. Valentine's Day . . .

    Wishing all the Ace of Hearts!

  9. I realize that the upright sun-bather doesn't want a speck of sand to stick to his oiled skin.

  10. what a quirky guy with an odd habit...standing in the sun. I feel sorry for his skin.
    If the owner of the sweater will ever meet you I'd be curious about the background story of loosing it.
    You have a poetic sense for things and moments. It always makes me slow down in a way

  11. Smilla: I wrote a poem in which I imagine meeting the man who cast off the sweater, and will send it to you.

    Thank you.