The Silence of Stoke© By Bob Shallenberger

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The waves shim­mer under the
fad­ing moon as the ocean
starts its day just before its dawn.

Glow­ing shades of turquoise, calm,
bright and clear, with waves expand­ing, the
sun climbs above the hori­zon beyond a
palm-framed, post­card-per­fect island.

No one around to enjoy nature’s
majesty but dol­phins and a cou­ple sharks:
not anoth­er surfer for hun­dreds of miles.

Relaxed. peace­ful and con­fi­dent, set to
take on the bound­less tubes and
meaty swells the ocean dares to share.

Pad­dling out to meet the peak, heart
pump­ing fast, as puls­ing waves strut in.

Strad­dling the board, inhal­ing the
salt’s majesty as a gnarly, rip­ping

right-han­der races in unpre­dictable,
cap­ping on a mush­room-shaped mass of rock,
pack­ing the bowl with con­trolled chaos.

Trad­ing off waves, bent, warped, and
bub­bled, walk­ing the razor’s edge,
brave and young, tak­ing unnec­es­sary risks,
advanc­ing when wise to pull back,
com­ing to the sur­face as anoth­er wave
hits the sec­ond edge of swing­ing sec­tions,
burly lines around the cor­ner
dip­ping in raw to wave face the swells.

Dou­bling-up through two-sto­ry back­door bar­rels,
bowled over by a left and slammed by a
rogue set swung wide over the swollen reef.

by Bob Shal­len­berg­er

The Silence of Stoke© By Bob Shallenberger

The poet Bob Shal­len­berg­er

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