Andrena Zawinski

Beached Low tide whispers his name as sun sets downas seabirds rufflegolden braids of light cross the water’s sheenthen nose up awayinto a cloudless skyhere where the water’s mouth swallowed a man wholefrom the seabed floor where he gasped and choked on his own sobshere where I trace namesin the sandof all my deadpray whether death chose himor he chose deaththey and the water cradle him in boundless arms Dancing Zuihitsu The lone baleen circles and circles, water sprite at home in the lagoon off the bay, having lost her way North. So thin, so weak, her knob head rising every minute to catch a breath. I stand waiting for her breach, for fins to slap the surface sheen, for a burst of blowhole spray. I am afraid she may beach, join other ghosts hugging the breast of the coast, language of grief upon me even before the loss. I daydream dancing at water’s edge, feet slippered in sand, balancing en pointe between sea and sky, ocean spray joining in on the buoy’s song. Sun is about to set itself down as day begins to blur, nosy moon poking its nose through scattering clouds. A train sounds its horn across the distant square. A car alarm goes unheeded at the curb. Rippling waves lap the shore, lick the weathered dock. The whale rises again and again, slaps, sprays, circles, circles, and circles yet again. Butterflies flirt milkweed. Honey bees buzz poppies. Their wings, their perpetual evanescence, a performance in pirouettes skittering off stage behind drawn curtains ballooning in day’s last breath of wind. Andrena Zawinski’s third and recently released full poetry collection is Landings. Her poems have received accolades for free verse, form, lyricism, spirituality, and social concern. She is Features Editor at and founded and runs the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Poetry Salon.