Posted by: Shanna Germain | 05/16/2009

Pg. 46: Sand Poem


Collecting sea glass by the beach on my morning stroll. I don’t usually keep them, but this one was too pretty to put back down.


  • Weather: I’m going to stop putting down the weather. You know it by now: warm, cool, rain, warm, rain, sun, rain. And that was just the first ten minutes I was awake.
  • Mileage: Five-ish miles, split between three long, lazy walks.
  • Discovery: Running up the four flights of stairs to be “oh so cool and in shape” is a good way to give yourself a heart attack.
  • Media: Corvus: A Life with Birds, Esther Woolfson
  • Worst Thing: I miss home. Whatever and wherever that is.
  • Best Thing: Getting some writing done.
  • Quote of the Day: At the restaurant: “Tell me about the meringue with strawberries, please,” to the server. Who replied, “Sure. It’s… uh, cream meringue with, uh… strawberries.”
  • Word of the Day: Biscuits. Means cookies. Wish I’d figured that out during my last chocolate craving.


The beaches this morning were lined with seaweed. Big, near black, rubbery strands that covered nearly every surface of rock and sand, strewn about as though some storm deep in the sea had riled them and sent them ashore. The air, too, smelled strong of salt and fish and whatever else the ocean carries in its unfathomable depths.

I walked along for a few hours this morning, stopping here and there to pick up shells broken and battered by the surf, the rain sometimes falling, sometimes not, my coat collar turned up against the wind. I’ve taken to wearing sunglasses always — not that there’s sun, but there’s always wind, and it blows dirt and dust and sand into the lenses of my contacts with surprising, and painful, accuracy. Seaweed is slick and slippery, and the sand buckled beneath my steps as though there as nothing holding it up, as if it just might be waiting for someone like me — quiet, contemplative, lost in another world — to step into its depths and sink away into nothing.

If you cant your head just right, the surf sounds like a heart beat. Like breath. Like the pull of the moon and the curve of a belly and the slow, careful footsteps of a woman with a great deal on her mind. Rain comes, clouds too. And then they roll away while your face is still damp, the sun offering its pale promise to stay around for a while this time. Maybe five minutes, maybe a day. Don’t take your coat off yet though.

Keep walking. Keep sinking and rising. Keep your shoes right on the water’s edge and be glad for waterproofing. Wonder if seaweed tastes like salt or if that’s just your skin. Keep the shiny glass of someone’s yesterday in your palm. Remember how all its edges were worn away by the slow, eternal caress of time. Remember your own edges. Wonder where they’ve gone.

Going nowhere fast, s.


Buteshire, Rothesay, West BayRothesay in its heyday. Back then, it was a huge draw for tourists from all over the U.K.


“What was the sensible thing to do? There was no Piggy to talk sense. There was no solemn assembly for debate nor dignity of the conch.” ~Ralph, Lord of the Flies



  1. I so heart sea glass. I used to get it from around here but it was from Lake Michigan so .. it’s not “sea” glass..

    I’ll have to take a picture of my collection – I have a couple of tall clear vases that I put them in along with other things .. decent things .. I found, not all the litter and junk and crap.

    Watch for the cobalt blue and other colors, I have some red and yellow too – not much.. but some. Makes you wonder what they were tossing in .. or what sank…


  2. Beautiful post!

    Love Quote of the Day and paragraph 3 of post proper.

  3. Annie: I think you can call it sea glass. Although Lake Glass, has a cool ring to it. Send me pictures! I’ll post them 🙂

    Ella: Thanks so much! I love to know which parts are working when I write stuff like that.

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