I’m carried down the steep cliff path
Cradled in the surf’s whisper,
Butter-ball sun over the bay;
Dad’s panting is a deep drum beat.
The going down seems long;
No steps, just sand and dirt and rock
Into the belly of the earth
Eyes heavy then silence sweeps in to take me
Until I’m on the red rug with feet extended just beyond.
Jim and I try to run the path
But deep sand slows us … heavy steps.
They’re landing on the moon this week,
In slow motion we practise:
Giant leaps for boykind in the dunes.
The beach explores also
In shoes and hair and sandwiches;
And now the sea draws me down over kelp fringes
Cold salt water grips my ankles.
Books in hand, we gangle down the endless wooden steps
And squint against the sun,
There’s someone in our place
And people on our beach.
We lie lazy and look for girls
While salt and seaweed zephyr wafts,
The grains run easy through hourglass fingers.
I arch my back and make my mark
Branding the hot sand with my heels.
Cars sit in neat rows, like cabbages,
I join others on the concrete steps, past the barbecue
Browning fat and fag smoke;
A woman laughs like a seagull.
My knees complain at the descent,
Yet surely it is shorter,
There’s nowhere to sit, so I walk
Dodging dogs and children and memories
To the rocks where the clear pools reflect.