Bio Note: I resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. There’ve been over two hundred fifty stories and poems published so far, and six books. I work the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where I sit on the review board and manage a posse of six review editors.
He walked onto the harbor beach at sunset, planting a small net on a pole like a guidon, and setting soiled cloth bags around it. Alone on the beach he began his dance. Mismatched clothes flapping, he swayed, then paced, then crouched to pat the sand into a crescent, then stepped back and back, dug sand by hand, finding black things and tossing them into a jumbled pile . He stepped easily, as if riding waves, moving in erose shapes only he knew. Then he gathered net and bags and left, not glancing back at the cairn of burnt wood and asphalt fragments. All this I watched from a restaurant deck, and had to ask the waiter about him. “Gustavo,” he said, shrugging, “a local character.” I nodded but kept silent, recalling that morning walking another beach, trying to feel profound.
Which I Am
I am the shore-bound wind blowing sand back into the sea, the faltering light that dries standing water between rain storms, the weeds that sprawl so obnoxiously that they are cut down and burnt, the possums that sneak out at night and are savaged by feral dogs. I am all of this, and am somehow content with the process.
The dying day of summer’s not a date, and not a drop in heat nor rise in cold. It’s not a shorter day or darker night, and not in what we wish to eat or wear. It’s when the wind intrudes into our skin, and shiver quakes announce our summer’s fate, and we confront a harsher time to come.
©2020 Ed Ahern
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