by Robert Claus
The evening breeze combs dune grass for old conversations
and chases empty words in sandy spirals towards the parking lot,
where wide-eyed cars wait blindly for the night.
I listen with the empty mussels and beak-cracked crabs for mermaids or monsters,
listen to the placid ocean lisp its endless disappointments to the patient beach, listen
to the crude seagulls shriek their hunger to the frigid, salty air.
The evening climbs slowly down the smokestacks at Moss Landing and tarnishes
the leaden Bay a dull, indifferent grey that smudges out the line between
the ocean and the sullen, sinking sky.
I listen to the beach sigh in resignation beneath my feet,
(somewhere in the bitter mist a dog barks at the waves)
and trudge back up the dunes, to the tarmac and my car.
On the beach, gusts spin the litter of discarded conversations
across the sand to settle in the grass
as dead-word drifts among the dunes.
Note: from Robert Claus’ collection of poems about California, called Bear Songs soon to appear in an audio version. Please see his Call for Readers above.
Categories: poem by Robert Claus