It was twilight. The sea embraced the sun and our last fling
ere August passed away.
We combed the beach
(we five now scattered as the shells)
and gathered driftwood for the night
like the bone-white sand dollars shorn of their beauty
we had earlier gathered.
how driftwood is renewed
We bore the sea-bleached wood like jewels
(they once were jade-green jewels
In forests far away)
to the ragged pit we’d hastily scooped.
I, the fire-master,
gathered up the orts that quickly flared,
added larger bits and then a log or two. Then we,
like the parents of our race,
looked up into the sky to catch each star’s
to crashing waves
and a coffee can turned into a drum.
In the fire’s flicker our faces changed
and all our ancient ancestors peered out of our eyes
sang out our throats.
Then came the clouds and rain and all was as
when man first peered out of a tree
upon a glorious storm in Eden’s lost grandeur.
We embraced the rain
racing waves like sanderlings
yet coming back again
and yet again
unto our tribal fire.
And now, we five,
scattered as the shells we gathered then,
our past the shell I now display
shorn of all its beauty.