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by Lionel E. Deimel


The wooden ramp climbs over the sand

Past the shop and café.

Below, the water washes over the gray beach and recedes,

Its repeating pattern of gentle sounds

Fading as I walk down the dimly lit avenue

Of yellow-topped lampposts.

Behind me, the tall, beachfront hotels

Stand silently below a halo

At the base of a dark sky.

Over the water, bright strips of moon

Pierce the clouds.

Only now do I see people in front of me—

The widely spaced men and occasional women

Casting their lines into the ocean.

They seem to be catching little,

Though I see a lone silver fish

Writhing on the deck at the end of a line.

My walk ends where the deck juts out

Left and right over the water.

The beach is now dotted only with toy buildings.

The sign on the rail says “No Shark Fishing.”



Fishing pier


I attended a conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and the resort where I stayed had a fishing pier. The day I arrived at the resort, I had no obligations, and I walked out onto the pier at about 10 o’clock at night. This poem is about what I experienced that night.

The picture above shows the pier in daylight, though it does not show the shop and café referred to in the poem.

My walk took place October 27, 2010. I wrote a few lines of the poem the next day, but I did not finish it until November 5, 2010.

— LED, 11/5/2010

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