Mussels, Barnacles and Snails

Mussels, Barnacles and Snails

October 1, 2016


Glorying in
a fall bike ride in Maine–
Waukeag Neck,
the small town of Sorrento,
past US route 1 going north–

And on the return,
a mile from
our beautiful rented house,
going down Ocean Avenue
at low tide,
I’m drawn to
rock-filled coastal land
jutting out 150 feet
in a narrowing triangle
into the Sorrento harbor.

Dozens of sea gulls,
gobs of yellow seaweed–
seaweed all over
on the slippery, wet rocks–
and as I lay down my bike
and walk out towards
the water and
the congregation of gulls
at the edge where
rocks and water meet,

I see grey mussels everywhere,
and then barnacles,
and then snails,
clinging firmly
to large, millennia-old
rocks rising up
for inspection
and inspiration.

I think of Rachel Carson
and her time by
and studies of
the sea,
especially its edge,
especially here in Maine.

I can’t write like Rachel,
and I’m a relative nobody
compared to
the positive impact
in the world
which she had
in her
too-short life.

But I do what I can,
drawing inspiration
where I can find it–
today, in Sorrento, Maine,
among mussels, barnacles and snails.