first semester


hot sand on feet leave tracks toward
seaweed, driftwood, shells, piping plovers
blue expanse, mist on the horizon

sun and shadow play on sandals
student union, coffee shop, bookstore, commons
gargoyles scrutinizing grass

waves lap ankles under water
cool sand crunching underfoot, dark specks
and gold mixed, turning with each wave

three weeks inside a theater, fortune,
turning tides of war, aegean islands,
lectures skipping stones

deeper, to the knees, bottom clear
with bits of cartilage strewn about
like old unraveled tennis balls

frisbee sails after supper
dusk arrives as shade takes trees
and headlights travel single file

minnows travel in a perfect matrix
clams alive, half buried in the sand
squirt out the bucket to escape

whiteboard symbols full of numbers
end in irreducible equations
outcomes bend with error and precision

baby striper checking out the legs
while massive snail crawls along
digesting clams inside translucence

just one question takes five hours
home with notes and books and stir fry
honor system lending answers freedom

waist high dive to utter bottom
rocking weightless under, eyes wide open,
distant saline water limpid green

night’s sifting thought released at dawn
this paper better for economy
illuminating reason of the day

ready for ocean’s center, touch
emotion, fingers mix with light and shadow
everywhere you swim is home

warm library in winter has familiar moment
writing, reading, talking
hours for a class that has matured

up to surface, break the air
sun sparkles on a thousand waves
take breath again on feet and wind

the yard is empty, learning done
a time to travel, winter break
go back to free perception, effortless