We dash out all in eagerness and stand before the sea
Halted for a moment by what the mind perceives.
The swell beginning gradual and rising slower swells
Infinity together drops and smashes deafened bells.
But first, the crest, the standing-up, the over-arching tip;
A touch of white, a hint of foam, then suddenly it slips:
Forward bends the standing sea, and crouching forward leaps,
The challenge sounded in the fray resonates from the deeps.
Into the violent spray is shone a blazing summer sun
The blinding glare is multiplied a thousand times to one.
The tumult rages low and fierce in its rush upon the shore,
Sand is hurled in whirling brown driven to a core.
The rush can only leap so long; its anger sighs and shrinks.
The mild foaming flattens out, and part of it will sink.
Remaining glassy harmlessness will leave a foamy rim
Collapsing popping on the sand, the farthest-reaching limb.
We stand with towels and hear again the gathering offense;
We saw the ocean’s eager wave strip the land’s defense.
The remnant of the wave is spent, and pulls back to the sea;
But if you ask me now to play – I do not care for these.
3/9/2009 (written after a beach visit in Florida when the waves were quite high)