Monday, November 12, 2012

Beachcombing ~ a poem

This is a poem I wrote some time ago.



Twenty years of November beaches,
some skies in electric blues
reflected in glassy seas -
others dredged in grey and
plopped into a roiling hissing cauldron
that only seemed to sizzle...

The best beach toy ever
was a battered old plastic sieve -
toss in the shells,
shake out the sand and
look at the treasures
left behind...

Mama searched for olives,
shiny jelly-rolled whorls polished
by the stomach-footed creatures
who called them home
for a while...

Sophia wanted sharks' teeth
bits of unyielding black
glinting in the sunlight
playing hide and seek,
evading all but
the most careful eyes...

The children gathered
cockle shells,
ready for stringing
on a necklace
or Christmas tree garland,
perfectly round little holes
drilled through by
perfectly hungry moon snails...

 And me? I looked for surprises.
Bits and pieces in shapes and colors
that once were magnificent,
the leopard-spotted bit
sending my thoughts racing and
the unfamiliar curves
of a broken Scotch bonnet
drawing a million designs
in my unpracticed mind.


 And are there unseen hands
that collect us for the winnowing?
And will their eyes recognize
that we broken bits,
in growing lined and weathered,
became more beautiful
for our pains?

Or will we be cast aside
in our imperfection,
discarded like
so much shell debris
waiting for next week's tourists
to come along?

 Muddy 23-24 January 2004

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