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The Inertia

SURFER’S ODE
I went to the seaside on one misty day
And there, on a perch at a dip in the bay
Was a cross surfer man with a camera phone
He was tight-lipped and grumpy and stood there alone.
He filmed with that phone and he spoke with those lips
He reported on wave sizes, wind, tide, and rips.

But sometimes he laughed at craft that were other
He sneered at the riders, implied they’re a bother
He peered o’er the sea from his resinous tower
His fiberglass board gave him feelings of power.
Til one misty day he climbed down from his fortress
He waxed up his board and he paddled out, dauntless.

And there in the valleys, between fearsome sets
Were  SUPs and some boogers and boats with big nets
He scoffed at a booger and glared at a SUP.
“Ess-yew-peas,” jeered the man, like they all need a whup.
(The problem with big nets, I must let you know
Is they attract sharks, when they catch fish below.)

But the cross grumpy man with the camera phone
Was angry with SUPs so he stumbled alone
Into the path of a hungry white shark, who
Could see the full nets, though the ocean was dark.
The fin broke the surface and next came the teeth
The smarty pants man surely whimpered with grief

“Help!” The man yelled, as the eye of the creature
Was focused on him and his edible features
He turned and he noticed that nowhere in sight
Was a man on a surfboard to help with his plight.
Then out of the mist came a vision so sweet
A girl on a SUP that protected her feet
From critters and jellies and nibbling teeth
Of  men in grey suits that swim deep down beneath.

“Ess-Yew-Pea,” was the cry of the desperate man
“Let me get on, I am sure that I can.”

“You on a SUP?” the wise, strong girl said
“I can’t get that image quite right in my head.
For is it epoxy and not glass and fiber,
That’s only for drop-ins and burning wave riders?
Cos that’s what I hear when I follow the lead
Of the likes and the views on your Instagram feed.”

The shark paused mid-swim, maybe struggling to hear
Or wanting to draw out the grumpy man’s fear.
“I was mean,” said the man, “to those stand-uppers riding.”
“You were,” said the SUP girl, “Now there’s no hiding.
We bought leashes and beanies and wetsuits galore,
We bought wax and some clothes and good stuff from your store.”

She stopped when she saw he was just about crying
She knew she would not like to see the man dying.
“Okay,” said the girl, “Climb on to my SUP.
You must not be lunch for a hungry shark’s pup.”
She wielded her paddle, fought off the critter
Soon the cross surfer would stop feeling bitter.

He realized then that the ocean is wide
There’s room for all surfers; who cares what they ride?
Now he stands on his tower and smiles at the sea
A wonderful place where all creatures are free
To swim or to play and to share in the stoke
But there ain’t no room for a miserable bloke.



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