Sunday, July 8, 2012

Trail of the tide pool soldier, a poem by Mike Marcellno

Pebbles with poppies painted on are seen on the beach of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer on June 5, 2009 during a ceremony in memory of Canadian troops which landed in 1944 at the Nan Red point on Saint-Aubin beach. Each poppy painted by students represents a soldier killed here during World War II. Preparations are underway for the upcoming D-Day celebrations to mark the 65th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 allied landings in France, then occupied by Nazi Germany. (DANIAU/AFP/Getty Images) (from

Trail of the tide pool soldier
by Mike Marcellino

Once a man marched on the beach
at the last glow of day,
each and every day.
They called him the tide pool soldier,
for short.
As he marched, he cast his eyes
upon the sand,
reading colors
in the tide pool canyons.
gold, grey, cream,
black and silver reds.

The winding trail carried far off seas,
little ripples, tiny swells,
along these shores for many a mile,
as far as the eye can see.
Slight beach canyons on the ground
reminded him
of some old Irish glenns he'd seen,
in fall.

On and on he marched, but not till dawn.
He wore no steel pot, no bearskin hat,
no jungle, no desert fatigues.

"One two three four
sound off, "
he whispered to himself,  somewhat bitterly.
"The streets of heaven are paved with gold.
Sound off."

On and on he marched, but not till dawn.
"Do people ever catch any big fish here,"
he asked a fisherboy.
"Yes, we caught an eight pound red fish,"
his dad said proudly.
"Are they good eating?" the hungry soldier asked.
Then a yellow lab
came into the conversation,
But Matt heard his master's call
and ran away from it all.
The father smiled,
and looked back out to the sea.

The tide pool soldier
skirted a dribble castle,
it was too well fortified;
he knew the tide would take it

On and on he marched, but not till dawn.
He stepped out gingerly,
his automatic reflex
designed to protecting some empire.
But was always careful
not to get into a real
goose step
invented by the first Leopold
a prince
of the 18th Century.
It was to keep the troops in line.
They tried it once on him.
It didn't work;
He was a soldier for liberty.

Billowing clouds, with a tint of
rainy grey
blocked the sunset,
marring a perfect day.

On and on he marched, but not till dawn,
noting all he encountered -
a blond boy tinkering
on his tide pool journey,
his mother pushing a carriage
of a sleeping dark skinned baby.

"Have you ever seen a tide pool trail like this,
going on as far as the eye can see?" he asked.
"No, I've never seen this before," the mother said.

On and on he marched, but not till dawn,
about facing,
just in time
to see
a yellow chartreuse
neon surfer
setting out to sea.

Trail of the tide pool soldier by Mike Marcellino, copyright 2012

1 comment:

  1. Wow Mike! I want to hear you sing this... really. The path of heaven is paved with gold... I want to hear you sing this!