Dawn on an early March morning.
The still, silver surface of the sea
Merges softly with the morning mist,
Confounding the division between earth and sky.
A tropical sun peeps above the sea,
Likes what it sees, and hurries up,
Wreathed in purple, gold and white,
Catching the masthead of an anchored yacht
Swinging lazily in the warm and breathless air.
All else is misty grey and tranquil.
The creeping tide slackens with the flood,
And not an eddy, swell, or ripple —
Or the faintest gust or drift of breeze —
To break its placid and unruffled calm.
A sandpiper pecks along the water’s edge.
Here is someone with no leisure to reflect.
Then come the pelicans – – comic birds,
Ushering in the business of the day,
Quartering the waterfront for food
And skimming the shallow sea, their wings outstretched.
Soon men will rise and greet the day,
Their noise and clamour closing out the dawn.
Helicopters, generators, growling, grinding.
Cars and car horns, revving engines, gears,
Strimmers, mowers, arguments and slamming doors,
The cellphone tunes, inconsequential chatter.
Modern man cannot function without toys
That make a constant, reassuring noise.
For you who yearn for silence and for calm,
Join me in my morning meditation.
Rise before the sun; sit with me on the soft, soft sand.
Watch the light and shadow in the coconut palms,
The glint of livid sun on water.
Hear the rustle of the palm leaves.
Listen to the gentle lap of water, the wings of passing birds,
The mild plop of fish in the water,
The sea crab scuttling to its morning meal,
The tide as it inches in
Covering the sandbar and any hint of shallows.
Hear the distant sound of a bird calling its mate;
Listen to the silence and the sounds of dawn.
A punt is poled slowly, quietly near the reef.
Man has fished like this for centuries,
Seeking food, and peace, and solitude.
Timeless. A special moment. A memory.