I visit the converted dining room,
remember an indoor waterfall, raindrops
bleeding through dry-rotted ceiling,
spattering into pots placed between tables.
We drank champagne, nibbled quiche,
thought he looked tired,
but didn’t know he was dying.
Mortality is undignified, never convenient.
Closed and sold while we buried our dead,
the old restaurant moldered.
Now, like Phoenix, it has regenerated from ashes,
transformed to trendy coffee bar/upscale delicatessen.
We move on, deal with details.
The family circle grows smaller.
Cautiously, we return to favorite haunts.
Time doesn’t heal, just imposes adjustments.
Heron & Surfers
He’s nearly four feet tall, fearlessly
wades through alyssum and beach grass
spooks small ground squirrels who scurry
along boardwalk, forage for foodstuffs.
Ignoring joggers and dog walkers,
he fixes a gold eye upon boisterous surfers.
They straddle their boards, wait to snag,
then slide down a sleek wave wall.
When I approach, he leisurely ascends.
Muscular, blue-gray wings haul
him safely aloft and untouchable
through benign morning breeze.
A red tail hawk circles Moonstone Beach,
surveys baby bunny and tiny squirrel smorgasbord.
Dog walkers interrupt his hunt, send him packing.
He flaps to the top of a dying pine where he glowers.
Half-tame rodents take advantage
of generous tourist handouts,
creep from beneath wild radish, twisted snags,
claim peanut trophies.
I lurk upon ragged ocean bluff,
silently observe predators and their prey.
With notebook and camera,