Inter-Penetrating Waves

A bed of algae and eelgrass
blocks the rising tide.

An offshore breeze raises ripples
growing darker towards the horizon.

A tired old swell raises long low breakers
that curl and throw themselves bodily against
weed arrayed in rows,
deep maroon and charcoal
on the tawny sand.

They hit with a thump
felt in the belly
and reflect out to sea
where they run into the next wave.

And wave interpenetrates wave
in direct opposition.

Incoming motion, after countless hours
crossing leagues of sea,
meets, and passes through, a reflection
of that crest that preceded it
and is now rushing back out.

Returning wave loses little to its
quick rebound, with a thump and splash
rushing out to meet it in a series
of ripples, crescendo e diminuendo.

Incoming wave reacts to each with an arching shudder
rising up,
exchanging speed for height,
like a Bull Walrus winding up for attack.

This happens much faster than
it can be described,
repeating over and over
as I write this,
driven by the marvel of waves inter-penetrating.

The force of water partially spent on sound
and shaking the ground beneath my feet
reflects, bounces back, and passes through
its incoming brethren.

The miracle of fluidity,
that such a clash of direct and immediate opposition
is transparent to the forces involved.

Both sharing its passage in shadowed waves and ripples,
in transferring opposites passing through each other,
passing through changed
but unobstructed,
through each other and on.

Each wave already an echo of a far-off action
interpenetrates its echo
rushing back to where it came from.

The surface of the sea
brushed by a fresh offshore breeze
ruffling the knap of an old onshore swell
that is itself
corrugated by its own reflection,
returning from off the dam-ed beach.

Impeded, reflected by nothing more than
air and water
transformed by life and sunlight
into this dense mat collecting at ocean’s boundary.

The scene, lit by reflections of waves,
trending from infrared to ultraviolet,
shot from the setting sun,
and bouncing back and forth
through air and water.

Larger waves thump,
and throw up heads of curling spray
as they rear-up.

Their impact violent,
but not aggressive.

Their force passed on,
not wielded in enmity.

Bodies strike rhythmically,
but in love transparent.

As energy interpenetrates energy,
and flows on.


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