High Jumping Silver

the water gathers
itself rises up
all over itself in a rush of splash and crash
a melee of white
jumping up
in surprise over
rocks in its way
its dark fabric stretching out then pulling


crabs ripple small pools
long thin legs
carry a sandpiper
on a private scavenger hunt
up and down the black boulders
just out of water’s reach
her long beak pokes
at crevices in the rocks
tiring of the game
she raises her head, opens
her wings and flies off.


against the pale lit sky on the horizon
the water draws a dark line in grey slate
closer in
it reveals a rough surface
movement in dark
then light
ridges of curdled blue cream
that whips out in white
on the beach.


today a wildfire
rages at Waikaloa. the highway
closed because of the smoke –
smoke from burning grass.
the rocks on either side of the road – ridged
black pumice-pocked lumps
tossed up in years past by Mauna Kea,
Kilouea and Hualalai in volcanic clouds
of smoke and fire, jumble the landscape
as far   as far   as far as the light
and wild donkeys graze here
on the land baking in the hot sun
for what comes next.
we saw great marlins
high jumping silver
flashes in the bay.

About the author

A Canadian with wanderlust, Gail Peck has travelled to every continent except Antarctica, which remains on her to-do list. Siem Reap, Hue, Bangkok, Sydney,…

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Issue 21 · October 2014

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