Friday, November 26, 2010

How The Ocean Greets the Land (poem)

Follow me and I’ll take you to see
The variegated ways the ocean greets the land.
Come along and don’t be shy –
Remember when you were a curious child
And had to chase each butterfly!

In Mombasa, where it’s hotter than July,
Green foamy waters lick at the sun-bathers nearby
And bring them gifts of shells, star fish and crabs
Which you can take home. (They’re up for grabs.)

The arrival of waves to the shores of Zanzibar
Varies from lapping at the beach to leaving a scar:
Soft rhythmic waves compare to giant breakers
As a plane's landing compares to a crashing car.

White-capped scrolls roll towards California
And are much loved by adventurous surfers
But they can be quite dangerous, I have heard:
Thank God for the United States Coastguard!

The steep slopes of the Hawaiian Islands
Were shaped by the angry waves that
Tear at the coastline like giant hands,
Grinding rock to shingle and shingle to fine sands.

The shores of Japan have seen so many ‘tsunamis’
That they should now be classified as ‘Public Enemies’.
Funny thing, though: the safest place to be
When a ‘tsunami’ hits is far out in the sea.
If you’re on the beach, you’d better get up and flee!

As you can see, many are the ways
In which this endless ocean-land drama plays:
From white horses to ‘tsunamis’ to salt sprays,
Resulting in everything from sand to cliffs and caves.
And that’s all, folks - I got me a brand-new surfboard
And I’m off to catch some waves.

(c) Alex N Nderitu

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