Reader’s Poem: Checkout Time


I open heavy-lidded eyes

And rub away the torpor of sleep.

Sunlight streams through cracks in the blinds. 

It is not a day to linger abed.

Ablutions and dressing are quickly completed. 

I am out the door. 


Across the lawn lies the green-grey ocean, 

Rocking and rolling, cresting and breaking, 

Surfing and sliding up and over the beach. 

The sky is a deep, deep blue; 

The mother of all blue skies. 

Cottony wisps of clouds rim the horizon. 


Into the offshore wind, 

A pair of pelicans sails by, wings almost touching.

A larger flock sits stoically on the beach below,

Grey white gulls interspersed amid them.

Offshore, the surfers are assembled,

Calmly awaiting the perfect wave. 


A warm breeze caresses me.

I breathe in deeply, and then again and again. 

I stretch arms wide, and then again and again.

I stretch toward toes, knees almost straight, 

And then again and again. 

More breathing. More stretching.


I am on vacation in Malibu.

No need for “Do Not Disturb.”

No need to pack bags.

No need to get in the car.

No need to leave. 


No need to extend Checkout Time. 

—Hank Pollard

Send in your favorite poem 

Readers are invited to submit poems no longer than 200 words in length. Submissions will be edited for spelling and punctuation only. 

Please submit entries to: The Malibu Times, 3864 Las Flores Canyon Rd., Malibu, CA 90265 or by email to: