A Rediscovered Poem

I recently found a poem that I originally wrote ten years ago.  It was quite an experience to read it and get instantly transported back to the breezy cool morning of September 8th, 2005.  It was a Thursday morning and I happened to be on the beach around sunrise.  I’m still not exactly sure why I was there, to be honest.  I guess it just hit me late one night that I had not seen the sunrise over the ocean since moving to Wilmington.  For whatever reason, I decided that night that I was going to change that fact.  I stayed up all night, and when the sky was just beginning to turn the first hints of a lighter shade of dark, I headed out to Wrightsville Beach.

I’m not really sure when the surfer got there, or where he came from, or anything else.  I just know that as it grew light enough to see, I became aware that someone was sitting out on the water on a surfboard, alone.  His back was to me, so I doubt he even knew I was there.  I was sitting next to a set of public access stairs in blue jeans and a gray t-shirt, so even if he had been looking my direction I doubt he’d have seen me.

The sky behind the sea to the east went from black to a purplish blue color, to a gray, and finally a warm orange glow.  I’m not sure when the tide shifted, but somewhere in there the waves started rolling.  They weren’t huge, but big enough.  He was catching some really good sets and it was awesome to just sit back and watch.  Once the sun was in the sky, I got up and left before anyone else got to the beach.

When I got back to my apartment, I wrote this poem, typed it out, and then folded it up and stuck it in the back of a writing journal.  I found it the other day, read through it and did a bit of editing.  This is my first try at poetry in a while, so let me know what you think.




The Race

(September 8th 2005)


I can feel it build,
a slow rise at first
in the water that grows.

I turn and paddle with it.

Then there’s the make
or miss moment, caught
on the edge–
a racehorse in the block,

The gate opens;
I’m out.
A burst of speed, sudden
motion, thrilling; my heart
pumping adrenaline
in my veins.

The rush at the start
of the race.

I slip down the face
of the wave; cut
left, water like jade folds
over me–
a jockey crouched low,
leaning over his horse;
one creature,
one motion,
one desire,
the race.

I feel it now,
the wave
beneath my feet,
briefly at one
with the sea.

The breakers behind me, pounding
hooves in my ear; late breakers
pushing, reaching–
the home stretch now.

I rip out a nose ahead
of the crushing pipeline,
my arms raised–

Shrill gulls overhead,
my cheering fans.
I coast across
choppy breakwater,
sink slowly
to my stomach,
and turn.

I paddle out
and wait.



Not the guy I saw…. but a pretty cool picture.

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