Nothing more rare in the USA: 
20 miles of undeveloped beach. 

Unhappy, it's easy to see
what isn't here
                - harder to see what is . . .
 
Gunnery sites dot the hills.  Wires
dangling out of bunkered caves built to protect
against the Japanese - an invasion, which was truly
to begin only 3O years later, led by generals
from Sony & Toyota.. . . .

               *

A world recedes & a small
pre-historic creature appears
             
he stands before me, camouflaged
 (like a true teacher)

- a bump
     breathing
on the driftwood log

              *  
           
 The lizard's fingers
    are so tiny
yet unlike ours, seem to reach
for nothing
    not here already

the unquestioned
    support
of the ground
    moving
always beneath him

- now he's doing push-ups,
my teacher & guide

then turns so his head
seemingly, has disappeared
while his tail points
like a finger
right at me!

              *

Riding the off-spring    
of a wart-hog & a tractor,
two creatures drone nearer
across the sand

They have shiny blue bug-like heads
& are either adolescents wearing helmets
or come from another planet

              *

Meanwhile, some beast of wanting
devours the view
& still isn't satisfied

until the lizard returns
& resumes teaching:
              
hanging upside down, intently watching
what is "lowly" & near at hand

              *

How is it a cool, clear creek could rush past
a meadow of poppies as it flows off the mountain's back
and then, give out in the sand--only 2O yards from the sea?

I find this frightening.

Meanwhile, nearby, on the same stretch of beach,   
another stream with trout already wearing their steely
grey ocean colors.
  
Dressed for the wars of the sea, they will soon leave
this little home-town, and breathing salt-water for
the 1st time, begin to make their living in a new vastness.

The few who come back will be fierce! 
Packing sea muscles beneath the returning
red stripe of their civilian shirts.  And they will
know how to struggle with humans, using the current
for leverage, and how to go air-borne
to shake the preposterous, maddening hook.

But nobody, not even scientists, know where the
steelhead go, once they've entered the sea. And though we
have "theories," neither do we truly know, how, years later
they will find their way back (thru hundreds of miles of water, 
which to us, all looks & smells the same) to this very confluence, 
only a foot deep - where ocean & stream sluice together over gravelly sand. 

One of God's great, mysterious metaphors...

              *

While you wait for God
to come & lift you
out of this

- here are 3 wise kings.
Weeds.  Each wearing a crown

              *

I hold a great question
as if grasping the rope
with which to sound a giant bell

It almost doesn't matter
what the question is

I ask & ask once more
but am only aware
of what feels missing in me
            
(which may be the point
- the opening point
of great questions

              *

Rex, sick all day.  Won't eat drink or even move
except to lick his paws or snap at sand-flies.  I make
him a shade canopy from a poncho & fishing line, bring
him water - though the creek is near - but he won't touch it.

It is good to have beings in one's life for whom
one would "do anything." They give us the nobility
of our own generosity & deliverance from "the selfish one."

              *

After bone-baking
sun all day
at dusk, all is
swallowed, fog & mist

              *

Yesterday I caught & released a steelhead in the creek. 
I knew they were small, but couldn't stop myself
from throwing my weight around. Apparently it was
worse than I thought, because next time I tried to fish
in the sea, I made four casts, losing terminal tackle each time
to the kelp--and on the last, snapping my graphite rod.

The debt paid, I was actually happy to have
my almost obligatory fishing taken out of my hands.

              *

The odd couple: 
    dog's feet, legs, dick
    perpetually cleaned

    cigarette butts in the sand
    - what a slob!

              ***