Two Poems • Neal Whitman

Hiking Big Sur

on a hot hillside
overlooking the ocean
prickly pears
the cutback trail
is longer but less steep
far below us the Pacific
is a silent tide
fasten your tongue
watch your thoughts
I nap at noon


Training for the Big Sur Marathon

arise from bed
to attar of roses
and morning yawns
the day stretches out
run under the cloud
in cloud, breathing cloud
the taste of salt on my lips
the road newly paved


Neal Whitman lives in Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula, where he aspires to become known as "The Whitman of Big Sur," though that moniker has been held by Robinson Jeffers (1887 - 1962) for some time –– Neal and his wife, Elaine, are docents at the Robinson Jeffers Tor House in Carmel. Neal and Elaine aim to capture the magic of California's Central Coast with haiga: a combination of his haiku and her photography, published at the start of each new season in their local newspaper, The Cedar Street Times.