The Rider and the Sea Angel
On the sunny side of the compact mass of foam, wood and epoxy
Two howling eyes set the water surface ablaze parting sinewy currents
And crashing waves, arresting their unruly jamboree long enough
To catch another swirl of peach, gold, and deep emerald
Forming the luscious figure of a sea angel underneath.
The creature struggles to free itself under the sparks and whirls
Whipping colourless water into a pattern of silver lace, the prison bars
Keeping the thrifty form of loveliness trapped under its surface;
Poor mirror of sweetness struggling to maintain its shape intact
For the uninvited but very welcome visitor charging over.
Ethereal and fragile, the angelic face stares at him timidly;
Wedged between the violent waves seething above
And the cavernous shades of midnight blue below,
It stretches a longing gaze toward the warmth
Of the unbidden visitor’s hungry, blazing eyes.
Five long, nimble fingers marshal the powerful electric waves
Suddenly animated by ardent, working, breathing muscles
Steering bar, ropes, and wings in artificial tornado,
A choreography of flight, dance, and a mortal joust
Against the far mightier potencies of the eternal rave of the ocean.
Gracefully subduing the violence of the squalls to his command
Lulling the unruly waves into the invisible rail of the board’s air-path
The gold-paved, diamond-laced physique stops breathless midair
And for a moment forgetting the perils of the blue swell pauses
To admire the angelic being emerging in the clearing of the surf.
Steadying the mass of mariner physique on the board rail,
The visitor lifts his deft fingers to rap back the echo
Of the gentle rhythms emanating from the ambrosial shape beneath
Beguiling in the simple dress of marine morning glory
As if to commit her pattern to memory before she dissolves and disappears.
Crown-less, love-less, and death-less in his marine bucolic innocence
Marshalling armies of spotless iridescent butterflies off the tips of the waves
The unwilling Narcissus struggles under the weight of his heart in the evening haze
Drowning his butterflies in an ocean suddenly grown vast and bottomless
Searching for one costly glimpse of the beloved shape, his mermaid.
Commanding water, wind, and sand away from her precious forms
Halting the brutal brush of time and nature off his sea lamb’s fair brow,
His unbound Herculean breast stirred to passion by her trembling for dear life
He listens to her siren song demanding the sweetest, highest prize:
the blaze-setting child grown king of butterfly shepherds’ self-sacrifice.
And he lets the song of his morning heart, grown stale with winter,
Fade and perish into the echo of the sea angel’s sweet spring lullaby
Richly promising the eternal triumphs of her costly shape
Against the treacherous wave and the sad passing of time,
The immortal starburst of her lettered countenance
Crowning the globe of his heart in her song forever
To teach us how lovers create each other
How butterflies shepherd their Shepherd.