Prelude to Summer Surfscape (The Lifesaving Tower)

 

I

Before summer’s aquatic veil
reveals frothy rips and lacy undertows
crimson and marigold bunting
ceremonially unfurled atop stakes
flagging perimeters of safer swimming zones
marched by the barefoot patrol
erected at day’s start
by volunteers on watch over those who venture
to engage in worthy battle
beyond the warming sands

II

Seasonal arrival of colour a precursor
to the infrequently unaware:
sun worshippers
sizzling in their ache to bronze;
surfing doyens edge-balanced
cutting up wave faces
on short board fins;
knee-boarding prayers
flipping lip edged spray;
middling paddlers
struggling to surge past
sandbar churn;
refreshing dippers
resurfacing from under shore break
in the gutter…
all drawn to partake
of saltwater
ablution
worshiping
at the interface.

III

Linear meeting place
the longline contest grounds
where ribbons of beach floss
separate sand-polished hemispheres
seducing the unwary
tourists and locals alike
as shadows slipstream
in waters blue-green
guarded foreground and centre
by watchers behind tinted glass
attired in superhero colours
rescue boards to hand
defying death’s rays with oxide of zinc
smeared in tribal designs.

IV

At day’s end the empty tower extends
skeleton shadows across dunes
traversing soft incline to tidal reach
where wet sands brace
and tug homeward from zenith pitch.

Long-leafed casuarina shifts
casting whispers over dimpled dune
day’s footprints crumble
and evening’s lights aglow tumble
discarding damp towel westward
full moon’s pearly path emerges
as saffron sky kisses
the high-heeled platform
red and yellow on steel stilettos
murmuring goodnight
in breeze-bourne flight
as it goes.

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