Thoughts while contemplating the shore at Crystal Beach: 1983 ~ 2014 . . . .
                                                                Ange Coniglio


The moon, just past full, hung high
in the southern sky.

Near the horizon,
a whisper of wind
collaborated with the brilliant orb
and ruffled the lake's surface
to transmute the distant waters
into myriad points of scintillating silver.

Closer, in the protection of the bay,
the shallows were still and black,
the velvet surface disturbed only by wavelets
which caught the argent light of the moon
and threw long lines of quicksilver
toward the shore.



Cicadas sing, high in the trees.

Waves whisper at the shore.

A soft and gentle southwest breeze

wafts the whisper of an oar

across the Lake.


Beneath the red and rising sun,

a heron spreads its wings to fly.

Two swallows swoop and swerve as one

against the brilliant azure sky

and leave a rainbow in their wake.


Here, once, the "Comet" clanked and roared.

"Canadiana" crowds debarked

to share the comforts of the shore

and seek the treasures of the Park,

arrayed like gems, in easy reach.


The throngs are gone. The Comet's still,

but not the ever constant breeze;

and cottages up on the Hill

remain to tend the memories

of summer, youth, and Crystal Beach.


Labor Day plus one - THE LAKE WITHIN

The lake and sky share shades of grey, white,
silver and blue.

The pier, shabby and in disrepair, is transformed by
the setting sun into alternate angles of shadow and
gold, and the clouds change from pillars of white and grey to billows of pink cotton-candy.

This lake is held within the Summer's lake, with its
power boats and beachside bars
and hooting revelers.

Now the only sounds are the chirps of crickets, the
squabbling of seabirds and the whisper of waves
against the shore.

Huddling gulls are the lonely remnants
of Summer's crowds.

The jet-skis and boats and bozoes
are gone.

The lake within remains.


HARVEST MOON-SET: Silver and Gold

This night the lake is motionless,
as if deferring to the beauty of the sky.

The brilliant moon marches
toward the far horizon,
trailed by red Mars, glowing Jupiter,
and sparkling Venus.

Diamond stars twinkle
in the jet blackness
as a meteor glows phosphorus
against the velvet vault of heaven.

Slowly, stately, the moon makes her descent,
with a last coy glance
through the lace of western trees
as her lord the sun announces his arrival
with a glimmer of gold in the east.



                 A great blue heron visited our beach today.

                 In other years or seasons this stately bird,
wingspan greater than a man is tall, may have silently soared
above a valley stream in Utah, or flapped elegantly through
the mists of a northern Canadian marsh, or stealthily stalked
fish along the shoreline of a Florida key.

                 A shy creature, she shunned the crowds of Summer. But today, she warily tested the same shallow waters in which the throngs had so recently frolicked, her slim curved neck and blue-grey coat lending grace and beauty to the lonely shore.



RainbowMod.jpg (32398 bytes) The breeze is balmy,
belying the season.
High clouds hide the horizon,
and the sun must soar
before it tops them in the southeast.

As it does, to the west,
a double rainbow springs up,
its feet in the surf,
its crown glowing
high above the dune.

Its neon ribbon,
rather than after the storm, comes before.
A black line of clouds rolls in from the west,
shrouding the lake
and snuffing the brilliant arc.

The front brings cold stinging rain
and the scent of snow,
but in the window of remembrance
the rainbow will burn bright
to warm the heart when winter comes.


Winter Solstice Plus One

The sun begins its return
to the North
in a bright blue sky.
Its brilliance and
the sound of waves
deceive that the imminent
holiday is the Fourth,
not Christmas,
some two days away.
But the eye perceives
the fringe of shore ice,
narrow now,
but soon to creep across
and lock in the Lakeís waters.



Only the day before, the lake had been a lake once again,
free of its thick winter mantle of ice
except for a few lonely blocks,
so far out they seemed to float on the horizon.

But nature seemed unwilling to loosen its wintry grip,
for this morning, after a clear night
with temperatures barely below freezing,
the bay was covered with a thin, clear skin of ice.

Gulls that yesterday had noisily splashed offshore,
this morning warily walked on the freshly congealed surface,
and a stone tossed into the lake
penetrated the pane of ice like a shot,
while the thin sheet reverberated with the twang of  a guitar string.

As the sun rose, the ice began to creak and strain, as if
uttering a last feeble protest at giving up the lake to other
seasons. Along the shore shards like glittering glass,
thin and brittle as mirrors,
grated into the sand, snapping and sparkling.

Slowly but steadily, the warming sun began to clear
patches of open water until suddenly the ice was gone again,
as though it had never been,
and the waves whispered a promise
that spring, in fact, was here.


Thoughts from another generation . . .


Sammy Tiranno

The Golden Pier

          In case you didnít know, sunbeams have an ethereal power that can achieve the miraculous. They have a restorative quality that could have only been bestowed by the Creator. Sometimes the sun shines so bright it makes me think that God left a window open in heaven. And although itís possible for the sun to blind a man, sometimes it can help blind men see.
          No other place can better exemplify the sunís magnificence than the beach. There is one such beach whose hot sand reflects the sun so luminously that the land appears to be covered by a pristine sheet of crystal. Stretching out from that crystal beach, pointing toward the horizon like an arm touched by Midas, there shines a golden pier. The cost to build such a regal structure mustíve certainly been funded by a kingís treasury. Two tiers of golden walkway adorned with solid gold awnings lead down to the single extended level for docking and boarding.
People of all ages gravitate toward the pier. They walk within and atop it. They swim around and beneath it. They lie on the beach and gaze upon it.
         An amusement park proceeds from the crystal beach behind the pier, engaging the smiling faces of laughing families. The thwack-thwack-thwack of a wooden roller coaster zooms along its track at the foot of the pier. Gleeful screams can be heard from the heights of the coasterís hill, as well as from the water beyond.
         There is the blazing sun. There is the crystal sand. There are the smiling faces.
         There is the golden pier.

         In a different place, or rather a different time, there is a beach whose sand once shone like crystal. The sand seems wet and dark while clouds loom overhead. Jutting out from that beach is a dilapidated structure. Itís a pier made up of discolored concrete and rusted metal awnings. Large sections of fallen stone lie in neglected rubble as if they were part of an ancient ruin. Fragments of sharp and twisted steel hang dangerously out of place.
         The sand at the foot of the drab pier has been dug up, mixed with rocks and gravel. Beyond the dirty sand, where a roller coaster once stood, the wooden frame of a condominium has been built. The wood is cold and silent.
A single watery globule lands upon an arm folded across my chest. It may have been a raindrop, but more than likely it was a tear. I stand and stare at the sad sight.
There are the dark clouds. There is the wet sand. Iím all alone.
There is the ugly pier.

          In the same place, or rather the same time, there is a soft wind stirring. A brief chill tickles the hair on my neck. I glance up at the grey sky.
Gradually, it seems as though a hole is forming amid the clouds. Soon, a very fine ray of sunlight pokes through the hole. The ray of sunlight acts like a wedge driven between the dark skies and the clouds begin to slowly part.
Now a group of sunbeams come bursting from the firmament. Suddenly the sun is bathing the pier in its warm glow. I feel different.
          The pier is freshly painted and it radiates an illustrious sheen. Golden walkways adorned with solid gold awnings bask in the sunís rays. I use my hand as a visor to shield my eyes from the brightness. The fully restored structure shines proudly before me. Itís amazingly beautiful. Itís dazzling. Its divinity is timeless.
From somewhere on the wind comes a faint echo. A sound mingled with the ages, borne from the past. I strain to hear it. As the breeze shifts I catch only the hint of a sound, but I know exactly what Iíve heard.
followed by a brief giggle and a gleeful scream. The whisper of angels.
           There is the blazing sun. There is me gazing. There are memories.
           There is the golden pier.



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