Patara Beach

Patara

On this beach sound and sand we lay ourselves to rest:
an annual punctuation, a colon and breathing space,
kindling and basking delighted by overlapping waves
of welcome: a silver thread in tiredness’ tapestry.

Tourists and turtles take their turns digging to cool sand
for new generation; young engineers make their marks
and build playful fortifications without calculation,
fear or hope of castles not withstanding nature’s storms.

Backed by wholesome sun I chase my shadow along the shore.
The load lightens. My trace disappears. Crabs sidle home.
A stranger nods a Merhaba in my direction looking out
another place and pace: life less dash or need for colon.

A far cry comes from the harbour, long silted and stranded
in history and imagination. “Phoenicia bound?”,
the ship’s master’s call to those piering their next purpose
and horizon, and those otherwise beached and bedraggled.

Luke, a passenger, packs a gospel for this new ark
with his two by twos, his hims and hers, his young and old,
his Jew and Greek, and Paul, his complementary pair embark,
Turks off Patara beach, where the sun shines after storms.

PS. References:
Merhaba is the Turkish greeting “hello”.
Luke and Paul changed ships at Patara.

And so, with the tearful good-byes behind us, we were on our way. We made a straight run to Cos, the next day reached Rhodes, and then Patara. There we found a ship going direct to Phoenicia, got on board, and set sail. Cyprus came into view on our left, but was soon out of sight as we kept on course for Syria, and eventually docked in the port of Tyre. While the cargo was being unloaded, we looked up the local disciples and stayed with them seven days. (Acts 21:1ff)

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