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
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
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.
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
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
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