Poem – Leonard Lambert

Riders to the Shore

Surf I never saw
as merely what happens to ocean
when it meets the shallows – waves to me were always more akin to living things, a kind of water-beast, the sea’s attempt
at entity.

Summer on summer they’d arrive,
the slightest darkening along the skyline, became a rolling coiling thing, one of six or seven – we called them sets – which suddenly reared up
and came charging down upon us.

On ancient boards
we jockeyed for position,
raced to matching speed,
floated down the face, made the turn,
and crouched, delirious,
in the hissing snorting heart of the beast.

Spat out into a spent world
we were ferried gently ashore
as every noble ride expired
with a last hurrah,
and with an age-old sigh
the sea took back its own.


Leonard Lambert

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