any stretch of shoreline
is not two sides of the same coin
viewed from water or land

even assuming you know the twisting roads
or clusters of housing and wharves
or white steeples and beacons
the familiar melts unevenly

even the maritime charts and roadmaps
one measured in knots
and the other, miles

for many good reasons
the pieces rarely fit

even if you could walk on water
and still the rough waves


land is a kind of insurance
if you don’t crash

any grounding and the atmosphere
both move, often in contrary
currents, you navigate a facade

blue is never the ocean’s true nature
even on a summer day
unnoticed red or yellow modulate

when rain comes up
the beacon vanishes
in fear or arrogance


no matter how similar
they initially appear

waterfowl bridge this disparity
moving, air

Poem copyright 2016 by Jnana Hodson
To see the full set of seacoast poems,
click here.


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