Jack Johnson

by Catherine Simpson

“You know” he said, with
His lids at half-mast,
“Jack Johnson really did it all:
He surfs, writes music,
Has a great wife and family.”
There he is, appearing faintly
In my imagination, toes deep
In the sand, strumming–
Jack Johnson: Portrait of
A Santa Barbara
Renaissance Man.

If you want to understand
A culture, ask the locals about
Their heroes. The first three
Buttons of this young man’s
Hawaiian shirt are unbuttoned,
His voice drawls, his knees are
Knobbed in a just-past-teenaged
Way, his dark hair flips up in
Front and his god is Jack Johnson,
The musician, the family man,
And above all, the surfer.


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