The Man who Danced with a Cane
Tomorrow, tomorrow, it's coming too fast young moon and stars light the night; I fret in my van, surrounded by gear fearing oversleep of the morning task
The light of dawn shows low fog en masse slowly climbing Hurricane Point; The photographer prays fog stays low until the marathon-runners pass
But no, it pushes up that face 'til an invisible hand presses down; I let out a sigh of huge relief and give silent thanks for the grace
Tomorrow's here, and augurs well I roam around to choose some views; Soon Power Walkers come and pass then marathoners chasing hell
I wait and watch for the subtle rapture between land-forms and life-forms, colors and shapes, that instant of feeling signaling the moment of capture
I remember 'twas here, ago fourteen years where a marathon-poster sprang forth; The nine-mile mark, where the Point is first seen a mixture of beauty, joy, and fears
Now I must rush to the next viewing thrill and climb high above the Hurricane Point; Omigod! --- the brush --- it's above my chest -- can I thrash to the top of the hill?
With ski poles I wrestle, to yells from below "You fool, you're in Poison Oak?!!!" I reply " Yes, I am" and ponder a stop but the answer I already know
Deep in sweat I arrive, alas there's no 'fridge! but panorama's alive; So I put it to film, then down again racing on to Bixby Bridge
Here, too, I normally climb, but the plan is dashed by impassable growth; Ground-level it is, with no Jonathan Lee but a new Grand Piano Man
As before, what I want, and carefully seek is an uncluttered musical view; But alas --- with the moment ready to freeze into view comes a frizzy old geek
My lips pinch/purse, I try not to scowl but wait – don't I know this man? I've seen him, I've heard him, or have I? is this the Big Sur poet-owl ?
He talks with the player, asks for a tune turns to me and says "shall I dance?" And lest I demur, he struts out with his cane and jigs like a youth in Cancun
Indeed, it is he – the Poet Supreme Ric Masten, this marathon's King; Dance he can, and dance he does and makes the photographer beam
It's these moments of joy, of beauty or fun that fire the flame in me; Quickly compose 'em, the moment frozen to share with everyone
When the song is done, he comes to me "Can you spare a minute or two?' "I must go to my car, I'll be right back" "I've something I want you to see"
He's off with his cane, I pause for some looks at the waves in the ocean below I sit on a rock, and when he returns in one hand he carries some books
"What your name?: he says – "Ron" say I -- a pen appears in his hand; "To Ron" he writes, and I start to cry not aloud, but deep inside
For my life has, of late, been mostly of grief, for the loss of a hearth-song dream And this poet could see that deep within me was a need for rekindled belief
From his books of poems, he reads with a flair as only the author can do; "I brought these", he says, "to give to someone --- some things I wanted to share"
Before I move on, from this meeting of chance a poem-song framed he presents From his sagely youth, how apropos (!) on life – "Let it be a Dance"
Ahead of me, more stops will remain more moments to see, feel, and frame But nothing so fine as the moments this day with the man who danced with a cane. Written 4/28/2004 for Ric Masten.
Copyright 2004, 2007, Ron Alan Pierce