Disappearance – a poem by Scott Waters


I tell the family I’m going for a walk
up the beach

breaths of fog steam under a limpid sun
the grey strand as wide as a soccer field
crumbly brown bluffs 30 feet high
painted in rust, eggplant, dark green
ice plants with purple flowers popping out
a toddler runs from his mother holding a string
and a parrot kite rises into the lavender mist
provoking squawks of delight from below

I find my legs have begun to run
past a lifeguard station surrounded
by blankets chairs umbrellas in more colors
than a rainbow can hold
a pair of black porpoises slice
the foaming Pacific on my left
accompanied by gasps on my right
I jog past a small dead gray whale
flung and twisted by the muscular waves
skin now coppery and mottled
with knuckle-sized white barnacles
lower jaw bone of the beast
bleached and upthrust toward the streaming sun
a stench of blubber rot follows me
on the rails of a breeze
but I outrun it

now I shut my eyes
and there’s nothing but the thud
of my feet on hard wet eons
a blended roar of water and wind
warm orange light on my eyelids
I feel myself


…………………………………….on pelican wings

into a wild and rippling canopy
of blue


Scott Waters is a poet and songwriter living in Oakland, California, with his wife and son.  He graduated with an M.A. from the San Francisco State creative writing program, and has published previously in The Santa Clara Review, The Pangolin Review, Oblivion, and NatureWriting.


  1. Ruth Waters says:

    Wonderful! You really hit the spot for me!


  2. Cheryl Penticuff says:

    I could see it in my mind’s eye,
    feel it, and smell it. Just as if I was there with you.


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