Empty Beach

The beach was empty, early,
It was just before the spring;
The calm before
The tourist season storm

My walk was three point seven
Miles. Yes, I knew it well,
For early morning walks
Were then the norm

I wasn’t wearing headphones
For I liked the ambience;
The Gulf of Mexico
Makes quite a sound

And one can act the fool
In joy and wonderment when one
Thinks no one else is
Anywhere around

Of course, that day, the empty beach
Was not quite empty, for
You were there in a chair
Beside the sea

And I did not see you until
A minute passed or more
Of you observing strange,
Erratic me

I saw you with embarrassment,
You didn’t seem to mind.
All ninety-seven pounds of you
In state

I said, “Hello. I’m Owen,”
And you answered with a laugh.
And now, three decades later,
Strange is fate:

For I’m back on the empty beach,
The spot where we first met.
You’re far from here,
As far as one could be —

But we’re still friends, of thirty years.
We’re both grandparents now,
Yet somehow
Still a boy and girl
To me

Nothing Beats Friends

Summer goes, and summer evenings
Sometimes wander aimlessly;
Takes us back to years and places,
Timeless, easy, young, and free –

So much that we lose for loving,
All the obstacles time sends —
    But there is nothing, nothing
    That beats friends.

Growing up and on together,
Still in moments motion made,
Necks that know all kinds of weather,
Favorite shirts that tear and fade –

So much that we gain for giving,
Sorrow shared, its own amends —
    For there is nothing, nothing
    That beats friends.

  Call upon the years to blossom,
  Playing date and playing ‘possum,
  Hopeful scholars, bashful truants,
  Brides-to-be and honor students

Eyes that shine with tears of gladness,
In the moments in-between;
Shoulders used in shades of sadness,
Love that breaks the quarantine

Losing, gaining, laughing, grieving,
Here, through all the fads and trends —
    Yes, there is nothing, nothing
    That beats friends —

    No, there is nothing, nothing
    That beats friends.

The Sarasota Six

In all the years that they’ve been friends,
They’ve shared a lot of things:
They’ve each stood by in times of tears,
And days of wedding rings —

It’s strange how long they’ve all stayed friends,
It’s rarely seen today —
For most of us just lose our friends
Somewhere along the way

For what keeps friends together?
It is simple caring? Fate?
Or being careful what you say,
Or who you choose to date?

I couldn’t say, but this I know:
A friendship doesn’t end,
When every party to it
Just decides to stay a friend.

And that is that has happened here.
I see it now, today:
For since they really care, they just
Will not throw that
Away

On the Shores of Light

My friend, I’ve seen you many ways:
In night’s embrace, on windy days,
In cafes orbiting in space,
And other venues commonplace –

But mostly from a distance now.
Our lives have cleft, diverged somehow;
For you and I have lives to lead,
And hills to move, and mouths to feed.

But somewhere, on the shores of light,
There’s life, and love, and good, and right,
I wish for you, each day and week,
Although we may not often speak.

Forever and with all I have,
And out of all we’ve been through,
I hope you always see yourself
The way that I
Have seen you

regrets, like the ocean

her regrets, like the ocean
in their immensity and constant turmoil
surrounded both of us –
far too real to be ignored

because i loved her,
i left her ocean undisturbed;
because i love her,
i offer only my
acceptance

we who live
live with imperfect knowledge;
we cannot know outcomes

there we sat,
surrounded by the ocean;
here i sit now,
surrounded by my own thoughts

my friend:
i do love you.
and love,
like stars that hover
high above any ocean,
does not change the water,
but give us –
if only for a time –
something else
to look at

Roni’s Engagement

She called to tell me that she was engaged –
Me, dating some love spasm at the time –
Who I brought with me to meet them for drinks
Which I think were Coronas – yes – with lime

And she still looked a perfect movie star
And so did he, if truth, in fact, be told;
They were so good together: he was kind.
And I was happy for the ring of gold

She wore now on her finger as a sign
That she with him would now forever stay.
A thing I thought unlikely at the time,
Although they’re still together to this day

It’s funny: I write poems all the time.
I dredge these stories up from memory:
And find sometimes I didn’t know my heart
Until I write these down in poetry

We’d flirted with each other, and had tested
The waters of erotic friendliness;
When that part of our friendship was abandoned
I found, I didn’t love her any less

I loved her more as friends; for she was regal,
And meant for kindness as a life reward:
And she was happy now – I know she still is –
With someone who loved her
Who she
Adored