Beachcombing, Lower Largo
Forget the kite surfers, the holiday makers.
The Forth’s sailing boats will be there, all day.
Keep your eye on the shoreline.
Look, one hundred years of sea glass,
a tumbler on the ocean, ground smooth,
frost-gems recycled by nature.
They call it drift glass,
those fragments in your palm,
once a beer bottle or fruit jar
from another’s life,
a remnant of some shipwreck,
now a gift of earrings.
Saturday beach combing–
Make me cry
Pickets washed bare
Dune’s graceful curves
I feel the smell
Of sailors yells
And maiden’s tears ashore
Laid my back on rock
And watched the clock
Of night sky rolling in
As sun sinks down
Below blue line
Sea frost caresses me
Moist cold lustily
Grabs my bones
Grey mist expanse
you are now home
I think I will die
If not here
-Laurel Joy Graceson
Collecting Sea Glass with Janis
for Janis Smith
We could be people in a painting,
two women arm in arm, laughing.
A sudden slap of sea air and sand
and still we laugh as we continue
our walk along the beach recalling
silly superstitions handed down
from our mothers: Never cross knives
or put shoes on a table. I confess
I once walked under a ladder.
‘Sea glass is the answer,’ Janis reassures,
‘find frosted red, rare pink or
kelly-green and wear it for luck
on a necklace of seaweed like a mermaid.’
-Catherine Graham (The poem was previously published in Reach Poetry magazine)
Posted on August 24, 2018
There will be a cotton hankie and a bag of beach combed pieces.
Some are very tiny so I tips them onto something white to see. Set up is lining them into rows onto the hankie. I make up categories for the rows and use even the tiniest bits too.
All the decades we wandered the beach
my hand in yours, driftwood, fossils, shells
cracked-open, trickle to an end with sun’s
Autumnal roseate set. The sea
It was always the sea, even after you clawed your way
from tail fin to legs, bare feet stamping a pattern
along soft, wet sand. The sea sighed, let you go,
promised to return to lay claim.
Mind muddled by mermaid song, you rest
on your pile of pillows like a small child with
stunned, round eyes. ” How did I get here?”
You ask me while the waves roll in, tide rises,
licks at your feet. Skin the color of storm skies.
I answer ” You got old.” Because it is truth.
Denial, no more. Sea-salt corrodes everything,
dissolves castles we built from upended buckets of sand.
Water rises inside you, sponges soaked from lungs
that once held air enough to shout.
I draw your name in the sand with a stick.
Your face coalesces from the shadows, you and me,
that photograph last April, me, a princess, you,
our castle’s queen. Then you laid your body upon the beach,
bones and wrack yourself. Translucent skin, opal eyes,
waiting for the water.
Waiting for the water.