When our Day Arrives

By day they theorize, philosophize, and lay their eyes
On this predicament
From old lawn chairs
Behind a makeshift barrier of plastic tape

By night they await the higher tide
Under the spotlight
Searching for answers
But generating none

Once a proud vessel
Named for nobility
Now on the rocks without the gin
Or perhaps because of it if the wind spoke truly

Each morning brings a new revelation
Coffee and binoculars the psychoactive agents
Of this daily vision quest

She is a solar eclipse
Her shining brightness now darkened
By the lesser light

Shucked like an oyster
Removed from her shell of open water
She now sits waiting for the ocean to swallow her hull

The heiress watches on
A mix of rage and longing
As she carves an homage of color
To the one she once knew

All the while they watched this maiden work
And no one said a word

It is no different with you or I
While our voyages may end differently
Still every voyage must end
And we can only hope there is
A daughter by our side
To mourn and remember us when our day arrives


Plein air artwork of a shipwreck near Cayucos on the San Luis Obispo coast of Central California


That poem is a true story. The boat that got stuck on the rocks here was still stuck on the day of a solar eclipse, and over a meal of oysters with an artist friend in the area, Colleen Gnos, I learned that the boat used to belong to her grandfather and was originally named after her brother. I told her I was thinking of painting it before they managed to get it out of there, and convinced her to come with me the next day and we stood on the bluff and painted while the captains came and went. I suppose I could have just written this plainly right off the bat, but the whole thing was too poetic to merely leave at that.

-Entry on August 24, 2017