A Memory of Islands
Whites of oysters with their indigo coins
Greens of full-bladdered and sun-dried seaweed,
Browns of sand, disintegrated small shells
And the sea-swell wearing down of granite...
Follow the wrack line around the island
To a small stream, cross onto the mudflats
Respiring with small creatures, step lightly
Into the tall grasses sharp as razors
Push through to a rise cool beaming with trees
Climb under the shade, see an old farmhouse
In the clutches of expansive verdure
Pulling it down, uprooting all memory
Only names remain to locate this time
Cockoene, Ram (now Shea), Chimmons, Goose, Grass
Calf Pasture, Tree Hammock, Copps and Crow,
Sheffield. Little Tavern.
Pirates, Prohibition, booty and booze
If you find treasure, it’s mine, Dad would say.
Crumbling stairs, collapsed floors, uncovered wells
Between curiosity and ruin
The tiled floors of the old lighthouse
The stone foundation of an old tavern
Once grazing lands, these islands, once homesteads,
Once a vast power plant on Manresa,
Talk once of a nuclear power plant
Ghosts left to be pulled down by time and trees
And in a moment, gone: The family left
Curtains fluttering in windows left open
A teacup in the sink and breadcrumbs on the board
And the family went ashore, went shopping
Went home to dry land. No cattle no corn
Somebody’s neighbor now, a need to talk
On the beach, drinking cold beer from Colemans
Lukewarm coffee in the Thermos will do
For the ride home to warm baths and cool sheets
The big coffee pot ready for morning
We set foot on the island to explore
Among the rocks: If you find a treasure
I set out hoping for a gift,
Alone among the rocks, climbing, searching
A sunny day. A picnic. A memory.
Sanctuaries now for seabirds and marine life,
These islands keep you.
|Dad, Mr. D, and Mr. Edwards,|
somewhere in the 70s.