Marcus Aurelius Surfer/The Kid

Try maintaining balance on a board
Of balsa wood and streamlined fiberglass
Avoiding wipe-out in that concave wave
Called pipeline curling smokestack-high
Enforcing to your inward eye
Collapsing tons of ocean in a tower
Your lonely sea become a moving floor

Surf’s up!
Now try it on dry land
When you risk far more than might seem sane
Bite off portions most can’t masticate
Wading into sudden freezing deeps –
In this sea of human existence
Will existence answer you?
Surfer are you waving now or drowning?

‘The Hawaiian Sport of Kings’ –
Is this an aquatic game of ‘Chicken’?
Those who feel no need of faith imagine
Their ‘sense of self’ sufficient
Then find this fragile ‘vessel’ frail and brittle –
A kayak in a beach-hut built on stilts

Walk the board
Or walk the line
And if you walk on the wild side
Don’t run with scissors

‘Walk Don’t Run’ –
Modest jazz guitarist Johnny Smith
Composed the tune as exercise on Bach –
California surf guitarists
Took Bach in their woodies to the beach
To bleach his wig and tan his wan behind
Skip-jiving to his contrapuntal beat
In waves of epic widescreen spring-reverb

Wax your board each day
Round and round rotating elements
Regenerate their waves into infinity
Surf your life as best you can
Rational soul might surf the universe
Where active virtue has a natural programme
It is divine and surfs alone
Along a sea-path sometimes hard to fathom –
Inner balance is the challenge –
Enjoying air and sun
Clinging on to nothing




Crosses the road by intuition
Eyes super-glued to his screen

Mid-conversation breaking off
Scrolling through new ‘mail’

Feel like a walk in the park?
Sure – the signal’s stronger there

You want to get from where to where?
It has its answer to everything

And that is how the ducklings
Mistake the fox for their mother




Bernard Saint
Illustration: Claire Palmer





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