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Often I take this path
through the tall-grass field
moving west, toward the sunset.

Always he is here, just ahead,
walking in the beauty-light like me—
out to see the ache of colors come.

We never meet,
but if our bodies did pass
we would greet each other
with silence it seems—
each seeking a moment earlier than words.

And yet, this man reminds me of words—
of the poet I've been reading—
with his messy white hair,
rugged stature, primal stride.

The sun slips into the ocean.
Watery syllables come welling up.


Gathering sea glass at low tide,
I catch sight of a scavenger beetle
making his way through the sand.
On a closer look I find he is missing
one back leg and hobbles, teetering behind.
Suddenly, this beach seems immense!
What a daunting journey—
as if lamed, I had to walk
the entire Mendocino coast with a cane.

These bits of tumbled sea glass in my hand,
they too have traveled far.