Beach Poems

      Pentwater State Park, MI 8/13/12

A dull day at the beach.

Sprinkling on and off and now and then,

overcast with clouds and chill,

and still we came.

Evening and a-sudden

children, kites, and ice cream –

the rangers’ class was done.

Big folks ran with wee ones,

the sky and ground were full of yellow kites!

The sleeping flock of gulls awoke.

Fisherpeople walked the pier,

and I, to watch them cast.

Large swells rolled slowly toward us,

boats crept silent through the channel.

And then the break!

A glaring shiny circle on the waves.

Had an alien ship landed near our shores?

No, the clouds had deigned to let a little sun shine through.

Slowly oh so slowly, more light flowed out.

Then crowds appeared from nowhere.

Chatter, hush, excitement.

It was happ’ning quickly.

A hundred strangers found their seats together,

as if in church.

Children still were children in the sand,

gulls just circled for their food,

all not knowing what the grown-ups knew –

     we would see the sun set!

And those whose lives had tested them enough

would sit and soak in awe

a time of passing perfect peace,

a promise, glimpse,

that life is glorious.

               -marti matthews


         Pentwater State Park MI 8/14/12

I set my little tent

beneath the large old pine,

then crawled inside and tried to sleep.

The sweet cool breeze that brushed my cheeks

turned chill. My nose was cold.

Wrapped tight in twisty cloaks and folds

I tossed and turned and thought and pondered

on into a fitful sleep.

I woke,

aware that “Nature calls.” Oh no.

Must I rise and find my shoes

and shuffle off in dark to find relief?

A peek through netted windows

up through pine

revealed a star! “Aha!

For that I’ll rise in dark and cold,”

I said to self.

I fumbled for my shoes,

tumbled out the zippered door

and sitting on the ground looked up.

There across the quiet campround

just above the treeline

a crescent moon

was smiling at a brilliant planet!

The two so glad to look upon

the sleeping earth.

I rose and stumbled to the road.

All there! The tiny Little Sisters in the sky,

Cassiopea sitting upside down,

Orion almost set,

and a bridge of milky mist

gentling up the darkness

Here to There.

I found my way with care and quiet steps.


returned to sit and be

with Universe, always there,

Which shows itself when conscious mind takes rest.

        -marti matthews


           Pentwater State Park, MI 8/14/12

Oh, to always be with you!

A part of me is always here,

listening to your whisp’rings back and forth,

the farther shrieking call of gulls,

the rolling sound of waves

moving in and kneeling on the shore.

My body will remember warmth of sun,

and cold of water on my knees.

And soft of sand on feet,

and little bugs in other worlds

skipping over legs.

I and all the other unnamed friends on earth

who shared these dunes and sands today:

the boat-sailers,


     dune climbers,

        sandcastle makers,

the sun soakers,

   wave riders,

     pretend fishermen,

       bike peddlers back and forth along the walks.

Little wispy children

spinning worlds from nowhere,

young men and women seeking mates,

old mates enjoying rest together.

But more than all,

A part of me will stay here on this dune ridge

with you, grandmother cottonwoods,

who knew me as a child.

Now I and you are so far on in years.

I say ’twill be myself goes first into return

to Source, but you are coming, too,

I see.   And when the dune has

gently buried you

I’ll be one to welcome you

to spirit, Source,

Who dreamed us all together

here this day.

                   -marti matthews

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