The Three Wise Guyz of Pepe’s Cove…

The Three Wise Guyz of Pepe’s Cove…


I have a not so tall tale to tell, I can relate, at this point, looking back, not that far, a few day’s past last actually, at this point, present, I am not sure if perhaps I was riding through a vision, a south jersey spiritual calling or hallucination (or just plain old reality), that morning on that beach, the so named cove, that I happened upon, quite on purpose in fact, the beach should be abandoned this time of year, only the domain of the seagulls and wandering fools such as myself, so stumbling up the roughly hewn sandy path through the dunes, I was quite surprised, that I was not alone, and those three figures seemed equally surprised to receive a visitor, to this piece of particular real estate, their kingdom, their court, clearly their land and personal port on the atlantic sea, being from somewhat the surrounding area, and familiar with local customs (hopefully), I gave the old Jersey nod, almost like tipping your hat but with no hat, sort of a head bob, and the long time honored verbally thick greeting “how ya’ doin”, thankfully my attempt at basic communication was satisfactory with three “how ya’ doin”s sent back in my direction, I was through the gate, they slipped immediately back into their inter-casual ball busting banter, I take a quick survey of the crew trying not to look like I was taking a quick survey, so I pretended to scan the beach, like some desolate deserted desert on the ocean there is literally nothing around but sand, and the dunes to frame the borders between here and the water, and this must have been low tide, the lowest of low tide as the water’s edge seems miles away, almost a different country all together, the three wise guys see this as well, and surmise, “I’ve never seen the water out like this, too far, too far”, and then the leader (my assumption), from his throne of gleaming white plastic and matching too small table, remarked “this is what happens when you have one of those sunami things”, nods of approval from the other magistrates follow, I get a good glimpse of the three now, the king (the only one wearing a crown as it were) seated in the middle and slightly back, knitted wool hat adorned with yarn pom pom for circumstance and rank, his robe the jacket of the local football team, no not the eagles (thankfully), the giants (my team as well, he must be a wise king), he is flanked by what seem like his guards, filling in, perhaps filling out their member’s only jackets in faded blue and black respectively, old man sneakers, and white sox, very white sox, complemented by mom jeans, and all three with the official royal drink in hand, a bud light, the ‘sunami’ talk goes on for awhile, I am still a little off centered that I came across this unexpected fiefdom, I admit I am tempted to join in the ridiculous conversation, but I hold my tongue, until the next story is spun, “did you see those big shrimp the other day, there was like a pile of ‘um over there” (points southward to a certain spot on the shoreline), “yeah, the birds were going crazy, did you grab any of those things?”, “those are like gold man, you could have made a bundle!”, “how many were there, like 50, 2000 or what?”, “what are those things called anyways? them big shrimp, they got a name, like little lobsters or sumtin”, I could not refrain as the big shrimp little lobster debate raged for what seemed like ages, I turned, “Prawns…” I blurted out, trying to time my quip as to not disturb the natural order of this circle of friends, they rejoiced with the knowledge I laid down, “Prawns! Yeah, that’s the name, they were prawns Johnny” (or maybe it was Joey… or both, or something similar), now their attention was on me, I could see the look in their eyes ‘look at the smart guy, let’s see what else he knows’, and with that came the question “do you know how much those things go for a pound? did I really give up gold?”, “I honestly don’t know, I don’t see them too often in the stores” I answered, and in dropped a drop of true disappointment, as apparently my knowledge was not so vast to satisfy the veracity of this small crowd after I built up expectations with my prawn gambit, sensing this setting of my sun, I blurted out “hey, but forget about it, it won’t matter after that Tsunami washes us away anyway”, this garnered a wry smile and a couple of genuine laughs, they were satisfied, and I must say I was quite satisfied with myself for jumping out of the jackass fire, so without further adieu I bid farewell, and departed from their lands, might I see them some other day on some other enchanted sands…

notes:. the real story, well, this is really it, I explored a lot of beaches on this trip (the photo is legit mine), I was really really not expecting anyone to be there, this seemed literally in the middle of nowhere, sure, there are houses, but most are summer retreats, who was I to walk onto a beach with these three who come to escape their wives and lives for a short time, I entered near this beach many more times that day… not a soul in sight, so maybe this was something magical or mystical, who am I to know ?

Music? some ambient goodness to get you through… c’mon, trust me already… dig it…

Cape May NJ Travel Log (part 2)… “in the dead of…”

Cape May NJ Travel Log (part 2)… “in the dead of…”



Preambleyes, I know this post is out of order (this was written mostly on day 2 of my recent vacation) but I finally got all my notes together and transcribed, if you want to read up on Cape May (GO HERE), but in short let me just say, this is a place I have been coming to my entire life, it is an old shore resort town, full of history, hundreds of years old in parts… that said.. here goes….

new towns or cities just do not have the between your fingers feel, the weight, the very taste of history itself spinning slowly in the fog in the air, apparitions in plain sight, hollow sounds floating on the voice of the wind and the ever present, sometimes distant, but ever sounding crash of the waves off in the darkness, even on a night like this, dreary, drizzle hanging over or hitting your face depending on which way you turn, even on a night like this, some might shy miserable, yet, I feel drawn to walk the town, there is both something equally eerie and calming in a nearly deserted resort town, as if the buildings are exhaling from all the commotion of the summer season, homes and buildings that have literally seen and been witness to hundreds of such seasons, taking in the winter to rest their old bones, throw on some new clothes of paint, perhaps replace a beam or two, to encounter again the coming crowds and blazing sun, but that is all rear mirror now, the sun falls short in the day and never quite reaches room temperature or above, just enough light to inform and know you are awake, but in the night, the buildings can sigh, a collective hum across these old streets, this time of year is far creepier than true winter, every scrape of leaf means you are being followed, you look, and see a leaf, but are convinced otherwise, so I understand the phrase now better than I had previously, “the dead of winter”, yes, winter is more desolate, the leaves are all gone, the moon light invades and penetrates around within every inch, guardians, the trees, bare, but not tonight, a slight breeze bends the light, conjuring shadows and forms, unpredictable sights, sounds like shallow words breathed upon your neck, spirits nipping up at your legs, a cold bone finger reaches gently glances against your ear lobe, just out of your periphery but somehow felt, in these moments, strolling through this old town, as the town observes me when I think I am the observer and not just the interloper, I am unsure if I wish to find a ghostly anomaly, some proof of haunting, of life understood as after or in some other dimension, so sure would be belief if I perceived such a thing, or would the fright be more than I could bear, or the disbelief as logic might kick in and overwhelm the sense sold of my eyes, all of these things boil up inside my cauldron mind, the curiosity makes possibility lurk around every corner, surely if there were lost souls they would be here, here in this old shore town, shipwrecks, lover’s jilted, homicide guilted, accidental dispatch, all captured within the memories of these victorian walls, somewhere in a window, I am sure, I would see a form, or a passing glance, a glow, an orb, would I trust my sober nature or lay favor to my rampaging imagination, for I do not know, for I never found out, this evening, as all the creeping I perceive is the autumn playing out final tricks, before the time of the dead of has conspired, to slow down life to the point, of silence, except for the ever dull roar of the ocean waves, just over the dunes, just out of sight.

Music: Cream – As You Said

Cape May NJ Sunset Beach…

Cape May NJ Sunset Beach…

IMG_4066yeah, well, sometimes you go for the low hanging fruit, sunset beach is just… one of those things you do in Cape May, regardless of season, it works, it is a destination for a reason, I huddled in place for just the right moment, and damn is it sweet, so if you think you know New Jersey, you don’t, is there a reason we have a bad reputation ? sure… but the real Jersey shore is more than people know…  that wreck out there?  that is the SS Atlantus… ’nuff said.

a slice of beautiful New Jersey…

a slice of beautiful New Jersey…

Oyster Creek Restaurant and Boat Bar, Galloway NJ (Leeds Point), two weeks since I was peering out onto the salt marshes, and then dinner, this is the real jersey shore (for me), some raw top neck clams, some oysters, fresh local line caught tuna steak, all in a packed house, every generation from 2 months old to 100 years, parties of two to sixteen, kids first jobs of the summer, red and white checker table cloths, all Jersey…. am I biased ? sure… but I’m OK with that… The spider? I don’t know why but there is always huge spiders at these shore places, ok, well, I do know, big bugs = big spiders, duh, I will always remember the crazy amount of huge spiders @ Two Mile Landing in Wildwood, another iconic spot if you are in that area (further south), cracking crabs with a wood mallet is oddly satisfying… and time consuming… and generally worth it…

a moment of perfection (well, almost at least)…

a moment of perfection (well, almost at least)…


Sometimes things align, and you just feel it in your bones, I stepped out of my usual routine and took a trip, a chance, this weekend (I usually work 6 days) and traveled not so far, in my own state, I literally pulled up a map and said “where haven’t I been?”  Well, as it turns out, I have been missing out, the photo is the culmination of a day’s journey, it feels like a week, in a good way, I pit stopped in Absecon NJ as it would be a good jump off point to travel from (and being close to Atlantic City there are tons of hotel choices), the trip started off, um, not so well… driving from Hackensack to Absecon on a Friday night in the summer?  yeah… probably not such a good idea but I was determined, hit some rain in the north but managed to make time south of home (Edison), in all I arrived around 9pm, tired but not wiped, and then the wait to check in, I figured there would be no one here, I was wrong, and to boot their reservation system had problems with online bookings… and sure, I had booked online… so after about a 20 minute wait I was panicking to find all my proof, the damn app would not load, surely this was not a good sign, but… should I doubt, my reservation was fine, and I had wrapped myself in an anxiety pretzel for no reason (there might be a lesson in there), nice enough hotel, comfy king size bed into which I melted…

and the banging on the door, 8am, what the hell?  I know I hung the do not disturb tag, but apparently in my tired blindness I had requested a maid… after hostage negotiations through the door we came to an understanding, understanding I put the wrong sign up, my bad, and back to sleep I was as I rarely get to sleep in and wanted to catch that extra wink before embarking on my exploration(s) I had planned for the day…

so a few weird dreams later I wake up, shower, and embark, off to Great Bay Wildlife Refuge, a large area of salt marshes connected by some rickety bridges and traffic lights that seem to be in the middle of nowhere, sweeping views, lots of shore birds, the sound of the wind on the reeds and grass, I’ll spare you the details but this is total zen for me, I drove all the way down as far as you can go, and hiked from there as far as you can go, and I did not learn my lesson about walking in crocs… not exactly the best footwear for long walks but great in the fact that who cares if they get muddy etc… fair trade off I guess. and then I visited Edwin Forsyth Wildlife Refuge which you can drive through, although I hopped out often for photos… so I walked a lot, and then drove …  a bunch and walked some more.  Both preserves were awesome, what a great day to visit, you could see Atlantic City in the distance like some weird metropolitan art skyline, my only complaint ?  the damn greenies, damn they are persistent and vicious, greenies… are green headed flies and they bite… really bite, like draw blood bite, if you smack one at the right time (after it has fed) your hand is bloody, yeah… as fun as it sounds, you even smack them and they are still dug in and you have to pull them off, my legs look like they were hit by pre-pubescent acne, well.. at least they don’t itch as much as mosquito bites….

so that leads me to the photo, which was a night cap, the ending, I was the only “party of one” waiting for a table, Oyster Creek Bar and Restaurant, oddly enough it is on the edge of the very park I was routing around earlier (Edwin Forsyth Wildlife Refuge), this is a very Jersey experience, so visceral for me, this part of this jersey shore has such a distinct smell, it is like inherent to my instinct, I recognize it, it brings me back, it makes me feel at once like a child and at most immortal like time has stopped to make this perfect moment, this place is the type where you can stroll up in your boat, tie up and have some great food, mixed with regular folk looking for the same, but you are all right there on the precipice of where the food actually comes from, the sea, right there, the salt marsh is teeming with life, and tasty life, and then not so far off  is the Atlantic ocean, you smell it all, the diesel, the semi sweet rot of a swamp, the salty air, the gentle aroma of wet wood, the short waves slowly lapping at the docks, the conversations you have had yourself, couples bringing their babies out for the first time, the families with their grandparents, the parties of nine, all of it, terrible chairs, red and white table cloths, local kids waiting out the shift, this is so familiar, so damn visceral, it makes me feel immediately comfortable, I could watch this all day… and night, but they just called my name, and damn I am hungry, hope it lives up to the hype, it probably will…

note: I am uploading a bunch of videos to my YouTube Channel, I finally got off my ass and learned how to use my ThiEYE cam

More poems from the beach (and an anecdote)…

More poems from the beach (and an anecdote)…

sea beach sand sun
Photo by Tookapic on

These were written @ Higbee beach in Cape May NJ known for “Cape May Diamonds“, also if you walk far enough south you hit Sunset Beach with the USS Atlantus (a concrete hull ship that sank just offshore), a little ditty about Higbee, I went there to find some new/less used beaches on vacation (when I am on the beach I am interested in walking the tide and looking at nature not sunbathing), so I walked all the way down the beach south (about 1.2 miles) from where Higbee meets David Douglass park (Cape May / Lewes ferry), so, in my infinite wisdom I decided to take the nature trail back instead of the beach… oh boy, first, I was wearing my crocs, and they ain’t walking shoes, secondly I left my sun screen and other stuff out of my pack because this is october and well… I didn’t expect 80 degrees and blazing direct burning sun ! so… I was hella wrong, it was like I was moses trekking through the wilderness, all sand (and if you have tried to hike in sand you know how much fun that is! – not!), sand and scrub brush… and a winding trail more confusing than choose your own adventure books, it was torture, I still have the remnants of blisters on my feet (2 weeks later), winding paths not in the scrub forest, all out in the open in the valleys of dunes just off the beach which I thought I was near the surf (but every time I endeavored to find it I couldn’t), and of course there was no other people on this trail, thankfully I have a good deal of hiking experience from my youth @ camp Sequoia in the Catskills, so after 3 hours of hiking (and cursing) I finally made it back to civilization (the parking lot), man, it sucked…. I am a hard headed person but this wore me down certainly, so maybe that adds to the ingredients of my poetry ? maybe… so here it is…

Upon Higbee Beach, Cape May NJ 10.8.2018

I walk the beach whole

I learn the shore lines

the neighborhoods of waves

the bindings of tides

between dunes and break,

I stride casually

soft wet sand sinking slightly under foot

beach sandals in one hand by straps

walking over footprints fading

as if I’m never there,

passing sun bathers and gazers

wondering what sort of tide brought them in

and from what inland shores

accents and manners float

in and out with a subtle roar

ghost crabs, run to their burrows

horseshoes right themselves

deft barb on tail

turning like clocks in the coming surf

turning to noon out to sea

these ancient ambassadors

far older than these

Upon Higbee Beach (pt 2), Cape May NJ 10.8.2018

the sand, the sound

the tide, the wind

broken footsteps trail off

the sun travels deliberately across the sky

the beach is low, for now, exposed

tide peels and shipwrecks, and their crews be told

left up upon the beach, stranded until tidal moon

or worse yet

found by the mouth of a hunting gull,

time seems to stand still, even within all this motion

but if ever there was a picture frame

to explain the seduction of passing time

this is that masterpiece

a picasso, a davinci, a michealangelo’s chapel

so easily this recognized among all other work

for this, strokes struck by nature herself

my own steps break off into the distance now

as if a part of this whole existence

at least for a little while

at least, for this memory

as least, nor that moment passed, just now