Cascara Chorus

Cascara Chorus
Cascara Chorus

It’s like she was waiting, just for me, especially for me. | She sat on the sand just beyond where the surf would pull her back into the swirling crash of waves, where she’d be thundered against rocks and coral and other shells, with all those who do not survive to their second life. | This beautiful cascara, a creamy cone of shell, painted with wisps of chocolatey brown squiggling down her body and flowering around the crown of her head. | Her pointy tail broken off, some accident on the wild ride in from her old home in the sandy depths. | Her underside rubbed free of her artsy markings, worn from a lifetime’s journey. | 
A little piece of another shell tucked in her side slot, taking a free ride to wherever she’s going. | She seems to have known an orchestra of shells waited on the windowsill for her, needing the instrument of her being to complete their song. | And now, I sit on the bench, in front of the window and I hear the music whispering in my ear, the chorus rejoicing: life is beauty and light. 

This poem, like last week’s poem (Lluvia), is fresh from my most recent trip to Mexico. It was probably the best shell collecting ever – I found so many varieties, and so many of several varieties (like cowries, turritellas, limpets). Too bad that my abundance was confiscated at the airport coming home. So I’m practicing being unattached and realizing the real joy was in the seeking and finding and enjoying on the windowsill.

little white egret

San Agustinillo, Mexico
little white egret

like a marble statue, 
she graces the jagged black-brown rock
at the edge of the shore
Pacific waves crashing around her

the little white egret
faces the rising morning sun
wrapped in a blanket of misty salt air

she’s a prayer of hope
as she stretches her neck
a giraffe foraging for food
then tucking her heard 
into her body, nearly neck-less
searching the clear blue waters
for the minnows that would be breakfast

watching, an intrusion 
on her beautiful new day, and so
she floats off into the sun through the clouds
over the foamy waves
and all the delicacies swimming below

Maybe this year I’ll be able to catch a photo of one of the little white egrets!

with wonder and delight

Waves on Playa San Agustinillo
 with wonder and delight
 the sun shines
 on the deep blue sea
 bright light pulling us
 like thread unraveling 
 from a favorite winter sweater
 the white waves
 splash and crash
 under the golden sky
 repeating like a refrain
 music to our ears singing
 away the cold of home

 the strandline soaks
 the soft sand
 laying down a rug
 for our callused feet
 to wander into 
 a fresh new day
 the sand crabs scurry
 along the water’s edge
 as we meander
 through their neighborhood
 together we dance before the sea
 with wonder and delight 

Another poem from my Gathering at the Sea collection, written while on holiday in San Agustinillo, Mexico in January 2021. You can find other poems from my little collection previously posted here:


The Ocean

little shell

a song of escape