Magazine | April 8, 2013, Issue

Poetry

HAPPY BAY

Happy Bay is what a beach should be:

the sea grapes shade a flat of sifted sand,

an azure sky blends with a turquoise sea.

The younger tourists, muscular and tanned,

ride jet skis past the pier by Hunter’s Quay,

play bocce, volleyball, walk hand-in-hand,

discussing majors, marriages, careers,

and where they’ll be in ten or twenty years.

But older visitors now at the age

by which they either had or missed the fun,

spread out like extra props across the stage,

or plump sea lions, listless in the sun,

staring blankly at the ocean or a page,

talking of where we’ve been or what we’ve done.

We rise for cocktails, dinner specials; then,

we watch the news and fall asleep by 10,

leaving the youth to sea-side tiki bars,

the pulsing waves, the vodka and caffeine,

the screeching laughter, muffled by guitars,

the heat, the thrashing dances, and the sheen

of sweat; the lamps like fireflies in jars,

the moon ascending like a nectarine

to wax as brightly as a varnished stone,

to shine on them, and follow them alone.

But I’ve grown up and trained myself to want

the things that I can have; be satisfied

with coffee at my favorite morning haunt,

a morning fair enough to sit outside,

a newspaper, a buttery croissant,

my favorite sea-side table occupied

by one who rose at dawn and left me sleeping,

who waves me over to the seat she’s keeping.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

A Law unto Himself

Toward the end of the February 7 confirmation hearing for CIA director John Brennan, Senator Jay Rockefeller praised the nominee’s performance. “I’ve been through a whole lot of confirmation hearings ...
Politics & Policy

SDI at 30

It has been 30 years now since President Reagan gave his famous speech announcing our missile-defense project. That is a long time, as modern science goes. Thirty years before Reagan’s ...

Features

Politics & Policy

The Humble Pope

Rome – Twenty-first-century ecclesiastical heraldry may strike some as an arcane hangover from a long-gone past, when bishops were lords temporal as well as lords spiritual. Still, the rich vocabulary of ...
Politics & Policy

Leisure Time

Productive, law-abiding citizens work for a living. We encourage schoolchildren to work and study hard to grow into responsible adults. We expect able-bodied welfare recipients to work for their bread. ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Domestic Strife

Watching the ever-amusing drama of Joe Biden playing the role of vice president is a reminder of the complicated and often uneasy relationship between vice presidents and their presidents. The ...
Politics & Policy

Outside Philip Roth

Writers’ epitaphs can be unbearably maudlin — Frost’s “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world” comes to mind, but there are others — which is why I’ve always liked ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Natural Gas Will Meet Markets, Too As a 25-year veteran of the electric-power industry (first as a contractor, then as a utility employee), I found Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren’s ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Obama had a hard time of it in Jerusalem, but then so did the last guy claiming to be the messiah. ‐ What went wrong for Republicans in 2012? The ...
The Long View

Bethesda Mental Health Clinic

DOCTOR’S NOTES Moderate Republican Senator Support Group Tuesday’s Session: Once again, late to get started due to J. McCain and L. Graham’s arriving late from Palm Steakhouse. Have repeatedly told them to leave the ...
Athwart

Willful Belief

Oz the Great and Powerful which is neither, has a Braveheart moment where the Wizard addresses the fine, diverse folk ruled by Glinda the Good Witch. They are in trouble ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

HAPPY BAY Happy Bay is what a beach should be: the sea grapes shade a flat of sifted sand, an azure sky blends with a turquoise sea. The younger tourists, muscular and tanned, ride jet ...
Happy Warrior

The Party of Surrender

From RNC honcho Reince Priebus, from the senator from Swing-State Central Rob Portman, and even from the great Charles Murray, the same mournful dirge echoes through the cavernous emptiness of ...

Most Popular

Culture

White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More