Evening at South Beach


All day the southerly blew hard on the face of the the sea until, finally, around evening the wind died. On the north side of the peninsula the water was luminous  – green and pink waves lined up to pearl on the cooling sand.

But the south was pumping – valleys and walls of green, huge, falling over the black rocks.

And a surfer is out there. Another walks past me to the jump rock, arm out timing a leap onto the back of the surge, and one is paddling from the shore, beaten back again and again – working hard but the wash has him, drags him, he’s trying to hold against the flow — ducks under one now two, and finally he’s through breathing hard, grinning in the fading light.

They are nothing in the surf.

A stroke and the wave is coming on high behind; in front there’s only air. Another stroke, easy, fast across the flank and now the board is straight down, toes hold to old wax as it bucks and bounces over wind-blown corrugations down to the shadowed base, then just before, shift back and the tail bites, lean hard on the rail, hand down in the water then back up the face to that weightless place and slap through the lip – spray snatched by the wind but back already, arms and body reversed, swing from the hips and down again and, until the wave is nearly done and closing over, so here’s the last drive and kick out over the shoulder. The wave collapses in boiling fury but board and surfer are already free-falling out the back, waiting on gravity’s catch and the wash behind.

another mountain fire
smoke blown high
in the yellow evening sky.

Image: c/- pixnio. A haibun (kinda) written for dverse where Victoria is hosting and asks us to go out and contemplate the lingering dusk. Well, this was my ‘contemplative’ evening – woo hoo. And here’s the LSO with Claude Debussy’s La Mer – although if you prefer something a little more jaunty here’s Charles Trenet  with a piece by the same name.

11 thoughts on “Evening at South Beach

  1. I nod my head to you.

    If I may … I once saw a guy (it was Cornwall) standing with his board on the dry sand. Just standing, watching the horizon as if he were a fisherman’s wife waiting for the boat to return home. He stood there, bone still, for about a half hour, and then turned and walked away. Sometimes I wish I were more nervy – I’d have asked why he walked away.

    Liked by 2 people

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