Jul 2, 2024

Beach Shrapnel

Go to the beach access by Jane's - it's the beach with the furthest low tide on the island 
Park at the first curve in the road - 
Seawright off Central 
Pullover till your tires are almost in the ditch – 
just under the massive maples and random alders. 
You need to run into the ditch and up the steep embankment on the other side. 
Take the narrow path between the giant sword ferns – 
it'll probably be super muddy. 
Just a five-minute walk. 
If you're lucky, there's a piece of wood slapped over the mud by a previous beachgoer. 
Step slowly. Don't slip. 
You'll need your groin muscles to climb the ladder down the cliff face. 
A pair of bald eagles nest atop 
a giant dead cedar near the beach. 
They've been there for years. 
If you hear them, you'll know you're close. 
Be careful along this section – the terrain changes. 
It's a steep incline, and the rocks are slippery. 
The cliff's coming up. 
There's an old wooden ladder propped up against the cliff face 
Be careful climbing down. 

Sun blinks through them 
even in winter 
when their leaves are all gone. 

Pieces of salvaged sunbleached plywood, 
ancient candy-coloured paint 
still visible through the sludge of the Earth 

An eagle's screech 
ushers in a new type of air-- 
less dense and electric. 

The path narrows 
a flash of nuclear light temporarily blinds me, 
and I lose my balance on the slippery edges of jagged rocks 
as I'm hit with the wet shrapnel wind of the crashing waves.

The Wind