Earthrise, December 1968, Image by Apollo 8

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Memory of a Summer Postcard

"Man in Central Park" by David Noah, Winterville, Georgia

Niles Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts, August 10, 2011 
Revised April 15, 2012

Somewhere, my friend, now fading,
frayed, what once was bright
in living hues is now pastel
and washed out gray. It seems
much like old memory, this
rocky harbor picture postcard
captured worlds within its borders
crescent beach and bracing water
muted light and frozen sparkles
far-off figures joined to shadows
silhouettes at rest forever, sifted
from the flowing stream.

An aging man
there sat alone
just watching seas
he seemed to ponder
something lost
some time ago
forgotten ways
abandoned goals
or maybe supper – 
silhouettes withhold
their secrets, time
sweeps currents
seldom crossed.

Today I walk with niece
and nephews, bride
and partners, past old homes
with fragrant arbors
to a strip of sand and shadow
smells of salt and washed up
slime, high shrieks aloft
on ocean breezes, sparkles
playing over water, loved
ones laughing, lounging
waiting, youthful vigor
bursting through, they yearn
for someplace new to anchor
softer sand lies ever farther.

Y’all go on your own, ya hear.
There’s something here
I need to ponder – 
what that gray
man gazing saw
and how it felt
in weathered skin
with waning days
and winter coming.
Let me drift off
August harbors
let cold currents
sweep me free
inhabit realms
I’ll never see
pursue their ghosts
relentlessly, replenish
dreams of those
I meet, refinish
postcard memories.

Skedaddle please
just leave me be
your restless spirits
must press on.
There’s happiness
in what I have – 
warm sun baking
sea from skin
honest hunger
ample supper
family style
with playful banter
served to salve
the fraying edges
well suffice to staunch
the graying.

Catch’ya in the evening chill
I say aloud to no-one near
as déjà vu sweeps ever stronger
overwhelming memory. 
With laughter trailing distantly
they merge into my postcard
harbor, tintype silhouettes
to treasure, relics held by love
forever – living hues shall never fade.