On the margin between land and ocean,

On surf-piled and pounded rock

On foot-worn and pounded dirt,

I tread lightly or stomp

Or drag my feet

Or spring off my toes.

I am different each time.

I inhale the damp, salty, kelp scented spray

I revel in the chilly white cocoon

That hides the way in front

And behind.

The paths I leave for others

Are too many to count.

Many I do not consider,

Do not imagine

Do not tread.

I choose intuitively, unconsciously

Or after small debate

Or after retreating and redirecting

My steps.

Granite tentacles a hundred feet long

Embrace coves alternately rock or pebble or sand.

Granite tentacles worn knobby

By swell and ebb

Of each wave

In each set

In each tide.

Granite tentacles bleached white

By briny showers and baths.

For centuries

Pushed up into the air

By tectonic plates

Inch by inch

And still showered by salt

With each wave.

Pushed higher and higher through millennia

Moistened there only by fog and rain

Each tentacle becomes a hilltop ridge

For me to hike

And find mollusk remains

As the new loamy skin of the tentacle

Is shed with each tread of deer

Each hailstone or rivulet of runoff

Each tumbling pebble from my stride.

Still I wander, wend round outcrops

Clamber up and over

Round and round

Back and forth.

Each walk is unique in my path, my gait,

In the direction and strength and scent of the wind,

In the quality of light.

Dark, shadowy swells under offshore clouds

I barely see the foamy whitecaps.

Bright, golden sunrays pouring through holes

Spotlight a white and red and rust

Fishing boat

Running in deep water

Beyond the granite tentacles.

Quiet, the Pacific lives up to its name

I hear only screech of gulls,

Click of golf balls,

Bark of dogs.

Loud, the Pacific throws a wall of sound

Waves cascading



On granite tentacles.

I lean into the wind

I breathe deep

This air I am first to inhale

Full of life

Cold and brisk

Untamed before it furls and unfurls

Over lighthouse and fairways

Trees and houses and cars

To refresh the town

To which I turn at last

To spoon chowder

And fork or chopstick

Catch of the day.

I drive to my solid walls and windows

I settle into my cocoon

Of blankets and quilts and gas heat

Comfortable knowing I am near

The margin between land and ocean.

I will visit again tomorrow

Or the day or week after

But soon

Very soon.