“Imaginary Surfing at Big Sur” by Larry Wilson

Jan 22, 2013
Big Sur; photo by Don Gale

Big Sur; photo by Don Gale

Imaginary Surfing at Big Sur
for Michael Murphy at 80

By Larry Wilson


This is the real world

Same as that old world

You imagine you live in

More realistically

The cliffs with their real

Esalen hot sulfur water bursting

Out where they did the books

On an abacus

Doesn’t make the books less real.

A place where no one

Will capture the flag

Where they take their dogmas lightly

Where unattended children

Will be given an espresso

And a small, growing dog.

A genius invention

By an Indian tribe

It later turned out

Didn’t exist.

Everyone up here having

A wonderful time

Belowdecks they are killing

One another.

I can’t be in the baths

In the hot water

Without leaning my head to look

Down the cliffs to the ocean

And its unridden waves

Big, loud, ridden with kelp.

The practice of meditation

Is to bring us back into the world

Where the divine is imminent.

Looking out at the sets

I need never put on my suit

Never figure out how

To get a board there

No beach and no path to it

No slip, no boats, no docks

Big Sur surfing

Entirely in my mind

Never missing a wave

No wave ever closing out

Not going on the rocks

When you have a mystical experience

What to do with it?

Find some place

To plunge back in.


Copyright 2013 Larry Wilson

Photo by Jon Sullivan

Photo by Jon Sullivan

Larry Wilson is Public Editor at the Pasadena Star-News, as well Artistic Director of LitFest Pasadena, which will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2013. He is currently completing “Twenty Surf Poems and a Song of Despair,” a chapbook of poetry about surfing in California and Kauai.




1 Response for ““Imaginary Surfing at Big Sur” by Larry Wilson”



Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena