Beached now, for awhile, safely beyond
the wet curving line of surf on sand,
beyond turbulence, beyond the boil and spray and splash
or the ripple of tide. Feet dragging deep in dry sand,
tired steps laborious, no danger now of making waves.
One foot up, then the next, trudging,
daring not to look any more oceanward.
Straight ahead, down the beach, not head down.
I know where I am. And I know why.
Is this forever? Once I would have doubted it.
Now, headed home, sandals full of sand,
burdened down with baggage
I never should have brought to the beach
in the first place, I don’t know.
Maybe I have gotten old as I never thought I would.
You ask me whether if something new came along
everything would change and I laugh.
Whatever would it matter, I think?
Novelty has lost its appeal. Maybe I’ve become a realist,
or a Buddhist. Not a cynic, to be sure,
but I now do avoid the wild appeal of romanticism
and idealism, with the suffering they engender.
Peace replaces passion and a private mystic bliss
seems better than bafflement or my own betrayal
of my self or anyone else, more to the point.
Maybe I’m just tired, on my way home
from the beach. Tomorrow is another day,
maybe after I rest, you say… Well, we’ll see.
I’ll let you know. I do remember, though…ocean…
the wild swells and waters surging with life, deep, wet…
And I did write this down (poetry and all that rot),
didn’t I, didn’t I….Well, perhaps passion never dies…
Ahhh! But just listen to me as I sigh…

Glenda Taylor, California, 1982