In La Jolla, California there is a holy cove
Hiding beneath the palm-tree hotel lawns
That match the pacific blue hues with emerald park greens,
In La Jolla there’s a holy cove where my childhood still lies sheltering,
Down the stairs below.
Beneath the seagull soiled sand stone, the slapping sounds of flip-flop-feet, the pelican congregations and the belching, barking mad seals who think that they are lions.
La holy cove is a tiny sand-globe of cave and rock and
Frolicking white puppy waves.
A shelter for children learning how to swim
Within reach of their parents’ gaze
La holy cove stretches her arms out yearning for La Jolla Shores
Across the underwater canyon, beyond the curvature of her embrace.
I jump in to swim through the open canyon, towards adventure, towards the churning waves beyond me.
No longer confined by her protection,
I am a wild, happy seal with a snorkel to breath and fins to fly.
Swimming free, through the miniature underwater circus of la holy cove
Past the orange Garibaldi clowns, the spotted leopard sharks, the casually waving anemones.
Overhead, trapeze-less gulls are calling out, reminding me to come up for air.
Now I am beyond the cove
Beyond the underwater canyon, beyond the shoreline caves
Beyond the reach of Sunny Jim and the White Lady’s grin.
Beyond the Tombstone markers
Where there are no bodies, just the memories of long gone Bottom Scratchers,
Ancient Greek fishermen, fallen on their spears.
I swim deep inside the Clam’s open cave
Where I first saw the world’s sunlight bouncing off an ocean mirror,
To dance on the walls of my darkness.
Where the real and unreal collude
To make memory a sanctuary,
Where childhood warmly welcomes our return.
When I emerge and meet my mother’s scared eyes
I lie down and breath in waterlogged undulations,
Of sand made liquid by my body’s memory of the oceans sway
The warm sand is a rocking cradle
My mother puts a towel around my shoulders and asks
“Why do you always go out so far?
It scares me”.