No Whale In Sight
Here I am with this sack of brine soaked clams,
standing in the silt of a clear stream.
Morro Rock, just down Cables beach,
a miter streaked with guano, reaches
a tuft of clouds charging southward.
The break known as Hazard Canyon—
the waves of slatish Pacific curl around
a rocky point and break in neat rows
between uptilted strata of stone. The boys
in suits of neoprene ending at their ankles,
wrists and necks, silently shift
the constellation they form, in long
In the coastal hills, a grove
of eucalyptus planted in rows in the grey
clay soil, a few exposed roots drag in
the stream’s fast moving water like teeth
knocked loose. The sun is a cool white.
A thin boy has stood up on his board,
the wave darkening to match his suit
as it rises up above him. The plume
of mist lifting off the crest, the boy’s
loose shoulders and blank face.
This poem first appeared in Red China Magazine, Issue Number One, Volume Two.