Monday, September 2, 2013

Santa Monica Sunset and Sweet William

It’s interesting that many of the chapters of my novella, Sweet William, were poems first.  This is one that I’d like to share.

This scene from Sweet William came about on a trip my husband and I took to Santa Monica.  We went there to take a friend to the beach who had never seen the Pacific Ocean.  We got there just before sunset on a warm weekend day.  It seemed as though everyone was out enjoying the end of day.  It had been a long time since I’d been to Santa Monica and I was captured by the people and the atmosphere of exuberance from so many different walks of life mixed together with Sunshine.  

We walked to the end of the pier not knowing we would find bleachers set up for people to sit and watch the sunset.  This experience became a poem and the poem became part of a chapter in Sweet William.  

Santa Monica Sunset

Something about the ocean
brings people together.
A parking lot 
filled with cars.
The day is closing,
people are leaving
toting umbrellas, picnic baskets
and children covered with sand.

One little boy is high footen' it
across the black top with bare feet. 
He pauses for a minute
on a white parking strip
then hurries off again. 

The sun is closing in 
on the horizon
touching many people on the pier
with light and shadow.
There are strolling couples,
families, groups of teenagers
and fishermen with buckets, 
poles slung over their shoulders.

There is the smell of cotton candy
the music from the Marry-go-round
many laughing voices. 

Over the rail
sand becomes ocean waves
where surfers sit gazing
wishes at rising mounds 
passing under them. 

A bate shop,
a restaurant, 
then the end of the pier. 
Fisherman line the railing, 
bleachers face the horizon,
a gallery for gazing.

The sun turns the sky gold
the clouds pink,
then to mauve,
lavender and a dusty red.
There is a reverent quiet
amongst these people
of such diversity.

The brown skinned boy
with a bucket of bait
and bare feet sits next to 
a lady in a silk dress and high heeled shoes
who sits next to a woman
with a baby blanketed against her breast.

All of them watch
the sun sink in the silver sea
and turn the sky magic
then disappear behind
the immense and rolling ocean.
There is a moments silence,
breathing is a sigh.

Everyone claps and cheers
laughs and changes 
back into their ordinary selves 
and moves away into their lives.

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