The Honest Ocean
It was not built for this, the off season.
It was built for the summertime, the crowds,
each bright shop open, festival like,
selling food and trinkets and towels,
barkers at the summer circus,
the boardwalk crowded with lightly dressed tourists,
less dressed, more exposed, slightly sunburnt,
watched and watchers, caught in the maelstrom
of memory and the making of memories,
ocean on one side, barkers on the other,
bright colors and spans of time consumed
like fried dough and lobster rolls.
Here and there the old lady locals in their gingham dresses,
the old men shuffling with their floppy hats.
There is music and chatter
and the ocean adds it’s own soundtrack,
almost lost in the crowd.
No, It was not built for this,
empty stretches, closed shops
with great swaths of plywood painted
with street art covering the windows.
It was not built for this, the off season
but you are. Built for the silence
and the imaginings of summer without the noise,
able to hear nothing
but the honest ocean.
About this poem
I am an off-season kind of guy for most things in my life. Travels. Love. Faith. I seem to come to myself in the off-season, uncrowded, unhurried, with empty space to fill with my thoughts.
A poem too about Asbury Park, which is where the picture came from. Poetry is never about one thing.