An idyllic week at the wild coast
We had Long Beach to our selves every day
Not another soul to be seen
Hours of walking, fishing and foraging
I'm drawn to the broken shells
especially the black turbans
which peel back to reveal spirals of rust
BREAKAGE by Mary Oliver
I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and scarred --
and nothing at all whole or shut, but battered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture
It's like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.
Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.
Our room had a little garret above it
which we named the eagle's aerie
We did a lot of holiday reading there
I savoured Donna Watson's exquisite book
The Beauty of Nothingness
and lost myself in several novels.