An Ocean Walk

Walking along the ocean shore
Kicking up the glistening sand
I feel the warmth of the rising sun
On the back of my freckled hand

The willet and the sandpiper
Dash into the approaching waves
As the sand crabs and quahogs
Burrow down to get away

Sea weed and sea grass
Are washed onto the beach
Holding scallops for the shore birds
And for the sand fleas, a feast

Flying high above
A seagull takes a hungry look
A brown pelican suddenly dives past him
Knocking him for a loop

Young families on brightly colored blankets
Blow up beach balls and remove their shoes
Young swimmers jump over the cresting waves
While a surfer dives her way through

Sunscreen on tiny little bodies
Hats on round little heads
Sunburn is not an ocean treasure
When little ones go to bed

Pails and shovels are carried
Across the golden sand
Visions of sandcastles and moats
Are taking shape with little hands

The life guard stands in his tower
Binoculars close at hand
Watching surfers and swimmers,
And those safely on the land

He is able to see in the water
Things others do not know
Rip currents and rough waves
Keep him constantly on his toes

The afternoon sun rises higher
The wind dies down a bit
Surfers come into shore
Their bodies lean and fit

The pier is in a distance
Waves crashing underneath
Crusted with mollusks and barnacles
It is no place for bare feet

Along the pier overhead
Are fishing poles and chairs
Fishermen casting for dinner
While fishing stories they share

Off in the far horizon
A small sloop glides quickly by
The wind filling its red sails
Speed causing the bow to rise

A cabin cruiser motors past
Fifty feet long at least
A party on board and a dingy behind
The guests are in for a treat

As the sun dips in the twilight sky
And the ocean turns a deeper hue
Families pack up their children
Pails, shovels, blankets and shoes

The life guard closes up his tower
His day successfully through
No one lost in the churning surf
No one lost in the ocean blue

The coming nightfall brings a hush
Over the cooling beach sand
The waves sound much louder now
Then when the day began

Scuba divers arrive at sunset
Night diving gear in hand
Goggles, tanks and flippers
Are dropped in the sand

Quickly they gather together
Checking their regulators and BCD
Each talking expectedly
About what they hope to see

Underwater cameras,
Computers and flood lights sealed
The night life beneath the waves
Soon to be revealed

Walking into the water
Stopping about waist deep
They put their oversized flippers
On to their booted feet

They slide into the water
Beneath the evening waves
Diver floodlights turn on
As the sunlight slips away

Just down the cooling shore
About a quarter mile away
A small group gathers firewood
And starts a bonfire ablaze

As darkness settles on the water
And the moon begins to rise
The beach becomes a different place
Then when the sun is high

Families are replaced by lovers
Strolling hand in hand
Quietly talking to each other
About their hopes and dreams and plans

The willets and brown pelicans are gone
Settled down in their hidden nests
Not worried about tomorrow
Engaged in a well-deserved rest

Taking a seat by the bonfire
Is a great way to end the day
Gazing into the firelight
Recalling the sights of the day