Thursday, November 6, 2008

Forever, Ripples Echo

On the shoreline I have pondered,
watching wave after wave -
each rare, each undulating
against the moist sand
in unique arcs - and savored
persistent insistence underlying
individuality's eternal expression.

I only dared sneak
close enough to water's edge
and immerse myself in the icy
cold exhilaration tingling
within a few ocean fingers.

As the shadow across my sundial
creeps days' hours shorter,
my crystal ball exposes a time
when the waves will cease
lapping up near me.

What did I ever offer
any watery beachcomber?

Forever, ripples echo
from toes dipped
into the tide pool.


Middle Ditch said...

Very, very nice.

I loved the last three lines ...


tanuj solanki said...

as an adolescent crtitic I would say that your poems tend to be heavier on the imagery...

as a reader... I LOVE THAT...

there is an underlying promise of philosophy in you poems that I find missing generally...

this one is my favorite

Shoreline Driftwood said...

Tanuj - Thank you for the comment on my "being heavy on imagery." But, remember, my imagery is always symbolic.

The first stanza, for instance, describes waves as expressions of individuality, in other words, also the onrush of humanity. The shoreline, then, becomes symbolic of life - the setting upon which the waves act. Now, I am "pondering" "persistent insistence." That is intended as a reference to the Civil Rights movement in the US.

The second stanza is indicative of the limitations on the average person in their ability to affect the world. I can only meet so many people, so many waves or icy ocean fingers. I can't meet everyone.

The third stanza is about my personal recognition and acceptance of my mortality. In my mortality, there lies an inherent limitation upon what higher hopes can be attained in my lifetime.

Then wondering just what effect I may have had on others. Does the good outweigh the less than good? What did I contribute to the greater good?

And finally, the realization. Each and every toe that dips into water causes waves to ripple. Meaning everything affects everything and everyone affects everyone. The past affects us, just as we affect each other in the now and shape the future.

Now, think of this thesis bringing back in the underlying civil rights movement reference. One sees that, in the light of Barack Obama's election, our country and the world will have an entirely new role model. For the first time, a man of color will "be the leader of the free world."

There has been a lot of self-congratulatory talk in the news the last few days promoting the idea that America has now overcome racism. This is hardly an acceptable point of view. There are just as many bigots today as there were a week ago, before the election.

But, see, in the "forever, ripples echo from toes dipped into the tide pool," there is a reference to a grander view. With Barack's presence as the role model for at least the next four years, we set the stage for children to grow up with a man of color as President, and those children will never again be able to think less of people simply because of color.

It is in the "forever ripples" in which bigotry is finally overcome. And, if all goes well, if Barack has a successful Presidency and takes us eight years into the future, people will have to finally give up all ideas of superiority, inferiority, division, separation and animosity.