Today's poem is by Carol Muske-Dukes

San Clemente

Shame & shame: sound of neap tide,
Pull & surge, watery law partners—

Surfers ride out, then
Zigzag back inside crest, falling crest—

Then bars—Beachcomber Pier, its rickety
Path over waves. Sun/moon, blue neon
Martini glass, white neon stars —

Staunch Republican white stone benches
Along the promenade. Carved, under bird—
Splat: Everything in Moderation & Memories
Eternal as the Sea. Where’s the thirty-seventh

President, soul of checks & balances betrayed?
Ghost surfer, he’s home & away, shame & shame.
Continent’s stop here, south of the floating oil-rigs—
This heavenly sweep of pitiless sea. Dolphins,

Our leaping geniuses, are here now to save us—
Help us be kind. We are not. The tide checks itself,
Balances, as the sea rolls over in the salt plain.
A criminal mind, uncaught, rolls jack-flat & over

Everything in Moderation. How poems depend on
“Fugitive causes.” Fugitive, here is your sanctuary:
Memories Eternal as the Sea. I stood once with my love
On this coast on a cliff near the old Del Coronado—

Watching hang-gliders suspended in the sky over blue,
Neon dragon-flies—they grow old along this sea-walk.
Joggers & shoppers ascend & descend. Look, says a lovely
Old woman: The idea for escalators came from the waves.

Copyright © 2010 Carol Muske-Dukes All rights reserved
from Alehouse
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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