Surfers paddle out in the April
chill, but never catch the surf.
Are they children -- remote,
heedless and alone?
One makes for
farthest in the near-dark. The beach
begins to empty of its dogs, their
unleashed-walkers and thrown-
I don’t know why I see this girl,
distant in her black wetsuit. Why
I see her readying for death. She’s
wrapped in sea; she shapes
Her hair -- if I could see it –
would be long.
Sandpipers set down
in the rough-wet, peck at the migrating
space where sea and shore barter
Large rocks, slippery with life,
urge my eyes from their deep with plashes
of apricot and tangerine.
A child runs back
urgently to clamber. This brings his mother,
and their Labrador, who leaps into gilded
surf for a last splash, then shakes fur free
of sea -- into droplets, spattering every
In the violet shimmer, each
water-speck a prism. I approach the boy,
mother and Lab, to thank them for this
splendor, to ask if they can see exploding
night from where they stand.
The boy looks
up from popping kelp with his heel, stares
at the sea creature.
Captain Riddle’s Whale Tours
In Eastport, far as East
can stand. First to welcome
day, first to darken.
A minke breaches toward
Lubec, while one man stands
among fishing lines, waiting
for a peregrine sun to yield.
He rubs his lips for fire.
Thoughts of his wife
mesmerize his viewing
of the blotch-red sky.
The minke sinuates
through chinks within
the calm, as if a tentacle.
He finds a stone that stares
him back. Never saw
that before, he says. His
lady bugs on smooth-faced
stones, selling amulets
on Water Street. At ninety,
deaf, and cancerous, she
gleans her Margaret’s lilt
from gardens going-on.
Her vocal chords nodular
as sailors’ ropes and oak root.
A fisherman looks up to see
who broods into the rot.
Theodore Eisenberg retired from the practice of labor law in 2014 to write. He managed the firm for a number of years, which gave him the opportunity to learn something of how the world works out its practicalities. He also credits aging as a mentor. When words seem too restrictive, he paints. His poems have appeared in The Aurorean, Thema, Rattle, Slipstream Press, Crosswinds Press, Lighthouse Literary Journal, Main Street Rag, Philadelphia Stories, Aji Magazine, little somethings press, Blue Mountain Review, NonBinary Review, Hamilton Stone Review, Rust & Moth, The Ekphrastic Review, The Ragged Sky Anthology and many other journals and anthologies. His chapbook, “This,” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2017.
Photo: Samantha Cycles