In the morning on the shoreline
Before the sun heats up the sand
Come the shell collectors walking
One by one or hand in hand.
Before the wee-bikinied bathers
Sprawl the beach and splash the shallows
Collectors wade the water edges
As wave and moon-drawn tide allow.
No less rolling, crashing surfside
Was this ocean long ago, when
No man, some say, was here to watch
These slow waves lash the chattel sands.
Some say that men of sand-grain learning
Bearing bones to prove their lore
Speak true of times earth sheltered only
The pterodactyl and the dinosaur.
In truth, though, man has always been here
With all his hopes, his dreams, his pride.
So say the Vedic men of learning
Who stand above both wave and tide.
Not always oiled and wee-bikinied
Not always prostrate to the sun
But men on earth their dreams pursuing
Dreams unrelenting, never done.
Not done unless through tideless blessings
Of Guru-Krsna's mercy sweet
They dreamed they were not lords but servants
Sand grains at their creator's feet.
Those servant men raised loud their voices
Sang Yahweh! Allah! Krsna! Lord!
Took every creature as their brother
Drank Guru's every priceless word.
They're walking now on deathless beaches
In deathless lands of living beauty
The eternal youthful Lord their comrade
Serving Him their joyous duty.
And here along the morning shoreline
Strolling in the wave-strewn foam
The shell collectors stoop to gather
A mollusk's shattered dreams of home.